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Monday, September 14, 2009

When Do You Look the Prospect in Eye and Say "No"?

From a question posed on LinkedIn - 

For me, selling every single day B2B, I believe that it is about Qualifying on a continuous basis- explicitly with the customer and internally on your own checklist. 

One approach I have found is to mention this right up front, on the first call - "...Mr. Prospect, if at any time during our journey, either of us sees that there isn't a fit, if, for instance, you notice that my process doesn't mix with yours, or if I see that my recommendation isn't in your budget, either one of us can decide to part ways. 

No hard feelings...does that sound(look or feel) fair?" 

Ok, maybe a little old school on the Fair Trail, but you get the point. Make it ok for your prospect to tell you no - AND make it easier for you to say no. But you gotta have 'it' - the Cheddar, the confidence, the testicular fortitude, the knowledge that you have something that others will want...simple as that. Selling is different nowadays (no it isn't but people feel better thinking it is). 

There is no reason that any selling professional should be any prospect's "whipping boy" unless we let them treat us like one. Or perhaps you're into that sorta thing, I don't judge. And that is the real problem. 

There are too many amateur salespeople, working for cheesy sales organizations being taught "the pencil sell", "puppy dog close", F.U.D. and techniques, it makes our job more difficult than it should be. 

As for how to tell a pain in the butt prospect that you don't want his business...simply tell him he deserves different and give him one of your competitor's business cards... wait for it...wait for it...those of you with the 'cheddar' know why -


  1. Personally I come across tons of inventory at great discounts and when I have tried to sell other customers this product, they counter with a price that is 50% lower than my cost. Little do they know that over thousands of units have been sold and they missed out on great GP Dollar Opportunity. If the potential prospect wants to play that low ball game, I mention that I must have contacted the wrong person on this opportunity. Their loss and I move on to the next one...


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