“It May Not Seem That Way, But Hearing The Word ‘No’ Can Be A Good Thing”

Generally speaking, we like to hear the word “yes.” We find it preferable to hearing “no.” Getting a “yes” is empowering. It gives us approval or permission. It means we can proceed with our planned actions. It removes restrictions or barriers to moving forward.

We may remember as children when we approached our parents, teachers, coaches, neighbors, aunts or uncles, grandparents, or even older siblings for permission to do something that we wanted to hear them tell us that it was OK for us to do as we planned.

From the very earliest age, we haven’t liked hearing the word “no.” This is one of the first words we learn to hear and repeat. It is part of every parents’ initial vocabulary to us. The same thing applies to having a new puppy in the home. We are forever telling them “no” – whether they understand what that means or not.

Now, extending this concept to a typical sales encounter that we might have with a potential client in their home (or by telephone before we actually agree to meet with them and determine ways to begin helping them) the word that signals a meeting of the minds between us and indicates that a successful conclusion to the discussion has been achieved for us to proceed with our project for them is the word “yes.” When we ask them if they are ready to proceed, if they have decided they want to accept what we have suggested or recommended for them, if they are ready to get the process started, or any of several similar questions that can be asked to receive a hopefully affirmative response, we want to hear a solid “yes.”

In getting to that affirmative response, however, we may receive and face many questions and objections and reasons why people aren’t prepared to make a decision or why they don’t feel that what we have suggested is reasonable, affordable, or in their best interests. They may think that they need to speak to another contractor first – typically a delaying tactic. As a result of these concerns and issues that are raised by the would-be client, we often associate hearing the word “no” with a negative experience – one that means that things aren’t going as well as expected for us.

However, depending on how we phrase the question or what we would like to know, there are many discovery, trial closing, and final closing questions that we can ask our clients and customers where the answer we want to receive is “no.” This actually is the desired response.

Contrary to the many times when hearing no is not desirable or beneficial, learning it here actually helps us process the sale and keep moving forward. For instance, in determining where we stand in making a presentation to our client, we can ask them if they have called or talked to anyone else about this project, if anyone else has met with or visited with them about this, or if family members or others close to them have given them ideas on what needs to be done. If they that this has happened, it’s OK and we can move on from there by learning what has been discussed or suggested. On the other hand, if they reply that nothing had been discussed prior to our conversations with them it bodes well for us being able to make solid suggestions that they might be willing to follow. Even if they decide to do more research after meeting with us, we were the first.

We can go on to ask about other medical conditions, limitations, or contributing factors that we should consider – with hearing “no” being a great response. We can learn that no one else needs to be consulted before they reach a decision. We can determine that there is nothing else that needs to be accomplished (paying down a loan, clearing up the title, receiving funds that are coming to them, or qualifying for a funding program) prior to them approving the work and having us get started.

The final question for which we would like to receive a “no” response is when we ask if there is any reason (or other reasons) why they shouldn’t authorize us to get started. Hearing “no” in this instance is great.

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