Sales managers are working day and night to improve B2B sales. A sales manager is part teacher, organizer, psychiatrist, motivator, and leader. Sales managers work with a variety of personalities, both on their staffs and in the field. To do this successfully, many will have a variety of tools, tactics, and strategies at their disposal. Most sales managers have seen a lot in their careers and that experience is valuable in moving organizations forward. While each has their own individual, a personal array of these tools and experiences, most have been ingrained with a common theme; “Never take no for an answer.”
In B2B sales, however, “no” isn’t always a bad thing.
One of the core values in a solid relationship is respect. When a no is dismissed or ignored, many prospects can take that as a sign the salesperson doesn’t respect their decision or their time. Prospects get pretty good at saying no because they know salespeople are trained to blow right past any negative response. By accepting a no in an initial meeting, a prospect will remember the respect shown. It can lead to a future meeting at a time when more information is available or the prospect is less busy. That can help build a relationship based on respect.
Most managers want their product, services, and representative to stand out from the crowd. That means they usually want to be remembered in a positive way. If the odds of a sale being made are minimal, there is value in making yourself stand out from the crowd of competitors and accept a no. This will play a role in the prospect’s willingness to accept a call or schedule an appointment in the future.
Many times, saying no is a defense mechanism. Good salespeople know this and it’s why they ignore the word so often. If a product or service has value and the presentation was solid, saying no may just be a prospect’s way of saying “I’ll think about it away from where I’m feeling pressured”. It may be his immediate goal to close the sales situation without inviting further contact. ‘No’ allows him to do that. It still allows him to learn more on his own or to reconnect with you. It also doesn’t preclude you from contacting him again at a later time.
With the prevalence of social media, maintaining a solid reputation is more important than ever. An overly-aggressive reputation, as someone who will not take no for an answer, will likely not help the long-term goals of a salesperson or the company they work for.
There is an old expression that says it’s not the “no’s”that drive salesperson from sales, it’s the “maybes”. Not every product or service is for every prospect. There are times when it is perfectly rational to accept a no and move onto the next presentation. Perhaps, rather than ignoring a “no”, salespeople would be better off recognizing at what point not accepting a no does more damage than good.
Relationships are so important in B2B sales, there are times when accepting a ‘no’ is just good business. It may be contrary to mainstream thinking, but it is worth exploring.
Connect with us today and learn more about how we can help your B2B sales.