Embrace The Power of a Real 'No'

Tony Hughes

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Nature abhors a vacuum yet average reps love the vacuum. They feel protected by the ambiguity of hearing nothing. "The product/market fit is poor. The white space is weak. The inbound leads are bad. No-one's answering the phone. The ball is in their court. I'm strategically doing nothing."

Sheer laziness and clinging to false hope!

Pressure test every target account to the "no". Push hard with massive action until you see signs of life. Every time you hear "please remove me from your database" or you receive a genuine "no", it should be music to your ears. Being told to terminate engagement (or to 'piss-off' if you're from the UK or Australia) means no more wasted time or energy; no more false hope creating the illusion of potential pipeline.

When you hit a warm lead in an account who says yes, get to their boss and go laterally to other VPs as early as possible. Have the courage to truly multithread your engagement to build a groundswell of interest and support. They will need consensus to buy and you'll need consensus to win anyway so do it, and do it early. Don't allow people to block you and don't be single relationship dependent. Go at everyone who matters concurrently until you secure multiple engagements.

Of course, you only have the right to do all this if you are a true believer in the value you offer potential customers. Your 'narrative' must also be 'bang on the money' as you drive relevant conversations about helping your customers achieve a far better state of affairs. Earn the right to go hard with the combinations that breakthrough. You're not attacking the customer, your fighting their apathy. Hit everyone you can every day with a triple -- phone, voicemail, and email.

Believe you deserve a conversation and then get on with it for at least 2 hours a day! Never mention your product or 'solution'. Instead talk about their industry, company and role within the organization. Have empathy and insight. Focus on the outcomes and results that matter to them. Combining the right narrative with the right mindset with right combinations of outreach can make you a business champion.

Those who shout the most that they have decision-making power are talkers and not real shakers and movers who can really make things happen. People that can actually say 'yes' are difficult to get to but that's where you must truly differentiate in how you sell.

Stop wishing it were easier and instead become better! Embrace the fact that real selling is difficult because that's what eliminates your weak competition and that's why it's so rewarding when you succeed

It takes COMBOs, several triples just to get a few minutes of their time but you must have the right message and leverage technology to be both effective and efficient.

I'm currently coaching a seller on the West Coast of the USA. Earlier this year she tripled a VP who called her back after the 4th COMBO. He said, "Okay, pitch me, you have 2 minutes." He then said, "No interest." She then expressed the second pillar of their value proposition in terms of the results she believed he could potentially achieve. "Send me some information." She tripled him again the following week. result? She landed the meeting and later made the sale. He respects her and her next goal with him is a case study and referrals.

When you get a reply to an email... call. When you get a reply to a text message... call. When they accept your LinkedIn connection request... call. When they reply to an InMail... call. When they click on the link and download the paper... call.

It takes 10X the touchpoint to pressure test prospects and accounts. Successful reps are so far to the right on the activity spectrum that others think they've lost their minds. They are jacked-up on Red Bull, acting like a hungry dog on the back of a meat truck, per Cardone.

Silence is not golden in B2B enterprise prospecting. You find the wheat by sifting the chaff, you find the gold by washing away the dirt and pebbles. Fight the vacuum with volleys of outbound prospecting. Aim high with compelling empathy and insight. Bash in. Humanize your brand with the dulcet tones of your voicemail message. Send a tailored connection request. Send an InMail. Use all of you 30 InMails per month. Reply to all 30 which will make it 60. Reply to all 30 again and make it 90. Growth hack!

Always ask and get "no" at least 2 or 3 times in an account. Prospects have a hair trigger reflex response where they bat down sellers. Their playbook is for the seller to lose - per Sandler. Buyers are indeed liars. They love to buy and hate to be sold. Anticipate the "No" may contain the silver lining of a "yes" but use finesse and deliver your persistent follow-up with respect and empathy.

Think of your own behavior. You're too busy to be sold and you'd say you aren't interested to prevent the face humping Alien baby scenario. Don't let the energy sucking vampire in from your balcony, right? But you've had people who positively changed your life by being brave enough to interrupt and gain your attention. They succeeded with you because they showed positive intent and persistence. If you've ever loved someone then you had to summon the courage to risk your ego and heart to put it all out there to see if there was interest... winning in sales is the same.

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Tony Hughes is ranked as the #1 influencer on professional selling in Asia-Pacific and is a keynote speaker and best selling author. This article was originally published on LinkedIn where you can also follow Tony's award-winning blog. Also, visit Tony's keynote speaker website at www.TonyHughes.com.au or his sales methodology website at http://www.rsvpselling.com/.


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