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I had bronchitis for ten days and sadly needed to cancel a much anticipated business trip to Chicago. My assistant assured me I couldn’t get a refund from the hotel as it was “against policy.”

“We’ll see about that!” was my reply as I picked up the phone to call them. The front desk manager, having just recovered from a throat infection herself, understood and gladly offered me a refund.

This got me thinking: how often do we hear the word “no” and simply give up? Does no really mean no? Great salespeople realize that the word “no” simply means, “I need more information before I say yes.” I shared this concept with a friend of mine who is a professional mountaineer. When she sees obstacles on her path, they’re merely “problems“ or “challenges” that she figures out how to go around, through, on top of or at times she may use a different tool.

To move your customer from no to yes, consider the following:

    1. Remember it’s always about the relationship. Try to find a commonality, build rapport, make them laugh; share your reason or situation. If they like you, they may change the rules for you.
    2. Have patience. Try not to be reactive because it will make you seem defensive. Listen intently, not only to your customer’s words, but to the emotion behind the words. Only when we validate someone’s feelings first can we change them.
    3. Don’t react negatively with your body language or tonality. Show empathy in your expression. If you don’t completely understand why they said “no,” ask them to share more, or even expand on their opinion.
    4. Offer an alternative solution that had not previously been discussed. Perhaps you have different financing available, or a more suitable package.
    5. Offer new information that they’ve not yet heard. It’s always a good idea to withhold one or two product benefits, and then offer them once you encounter resistance.


When successful salespeople hear the word “no” they simply realize they have more work to do. What’s tougher is when we start telling ourselves no. No, I can’t work out any longer… No, I’ll never hit bonus… No, I can’t concentrate any harder… I can’t listen to this person… and so on.

Every weight lifter knows that when you can barely do another rep, it’s the last repetition that makes you stronger. To live more fully and get through life’s many obstacles; we must go to our edge and give ourselves a final push. This week, be a sales athlete; remember that “no” simply means, “maybe yes!”

To dive deeper into this topic and obtain usable viable solutions for real objections see Shari’s video training at course titled Fast Track: Closing the Deal Chapter: Real Objections. Improve your pitch today!

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