Effectively Handling No’s When Selling B2B – Andrea Waltz
Andrea Waltz is the Co-Author of the bestselling book, “Go for No!” an eminent Speaker and a Virtual Trainer. She is the founder of Courage crafters Inc.
At the B2B Binge event, she explains why ‘no’ is an opportunity made than an opportunity lost. What do you think about failure? How can you change the outlook about the loss?
She says, “Embrace the connection between the Yes and No.” Yes, maybe the destination, it is ‘No’ that takes you there. A ‘No’ is a chance to improve and develop. Be authentic, and take feedback. When you take the input, you are going to hear a lot of NOs, but you will start building genuine relationships. In a business or career, authentic connections will take you farther in your career than anything.
Change the way you respond to rejection. Please take it as a possibility. No means not now. Seek feedback and the answer to why it was a no. Seek the chances of improvement. Rejection is not black and white. It is grey most of the time. Based on how you react to no, it can become an opportunity.
AMA with Andrea Waltz
Q- I would say it is a norm to interact seven times before saying yes. How do you look at the statement?
There are lots of statistics that say that out. The fact is that people, I think these days they tend not to say yes the first time around at all. And there I’ve seen that research there’s some cascading statistics where people say no, initially is a huge percentage. And then, you ask again and ask again. So seven times, ten times, this is why we have to have followed up campaigns and be willing to push through and push past all those initial nos. Because many times, people think they don’t need what you have. They think they don’t want it. They don’t have time to stop and consider. And so the knee jerk reaction is if I tell you no, maybe you’ll go away. There’ve been a few research studies, and I definitely agree with that.
Q- How do you keep them engaged when there is a no, right?
Because they don’t want to listen to what your product is. So this is because during the pitch, most of the time, what happens is you won’t be able to collect the email ideas or their contact numbers. So in the digital space specifically, like in LinkedIn, Twitter, et cetera. So what is the potential way of interacting with? So you don’t have their contact information, but for you, they’re a great ideal prospect, and you want to stay in touch with them. So this requires a couple of things. First of all, you’ve got to have a system to make sure that if this is a person that you want to develop an ongoing relationship, you want them to pay attention to what you have.
You’ve got to be offering that value first, and we hear this all the time, and it can feel trite and cliche, but it is true. So my advice is to stay connected right with them. And two, if they are somebody who posts. I’m on LinkedIn comments on their posts. Don’t just like their posts. Comment on their posts adds something of value. And if they’re not very active on LinkedIn, but you know, their industry and you know, something that could have them, you know, send them a message with sharing some little piece of content and say, Hey, I came across this, I think this might be something that you’re interested in and do your best in terms of. Being okay that maybe they don’t want to connect with you today. Maybe try in the future and, again, dare to take a couple of chances, some ask, ask for their email, ask for their phone number, to stay in contact with them, say, Hey, I’m collecting, you know, contact information because I’m putting together this report. Would you like to get this in the future? Be willing to take some chances and ask.
• How can we ask efficiently for honest feedback when there is a No?
• I think honesty and transparency are your best bet, and it is just explaining to them that you understand that it’s a no. And that it would really benefit you and maybe help other people, they included in the future. Perhaps if you understood a little bit about what was their kind of deciding factor, is it just. Not in the price range, is it just not, they’re not in the market for this, are they happy with their supplier? What is it so that you can understand? And maybe if they say, yeah, I’m happy with our current provider. Find out what, what they’re so happy with, what they’re so in love with. Perhaps it’s not something that you have to offer. And so it’s something that you need to be aware of because now that’s an objection. That you’re going to have to deal with in the future better than you know, that upfront, so gathering that intelligence, I think you have to ask in a friendly, positive way and tell people that it’s really helpful to you. And I think people generally want to help.
Q- The people who are new to sales are not very accustomed to taking no for an answer. Being one of the leaders in this field, what is your advice to them?
New people, well, you can’t take it personally. You can’t take it personally. And our advice for people as they, as they do this and they test out this go for no mindset. Understand that you can only control what you can. And so you have to detach from that outcome. So focus on the things that you can control, which is reaching out to people, sending them great information, offering them value, making those asks and requests when appropriate, instead of making an assumption that they’re just going to tell you No. And then from that point, you’ve done your job. You’ve done everything that you’ve, and you can try to help stay in contact with them but detached from that outcome. And don’t get yourself into an emotional roller coaster. I know it’s hard not to. And we all love yeses in sales. That’s why we’re here. But not to over celebrate the yeses. And then this is important. You can’t. Beat yourself up when you get a no like that’s not the moment where you say I knew this would happen. And you start talking to out and speaking negative things. It’s negative. It reinforces that negative association that we have with no, and it reinforces that failure. And so at the end of the day, you feel bad. I’ll give you an example of this too. You have one salesperson. And let’s say this one salesperson reaches out to a hundred people and they get a hundred nos and you might say, that’s terrible performance. And it’s a terrible, terrible thing that happened. But then you have another salesperson, and they reached out to one person, and they got a yes. And sometimes that’s just happened in sales. Sometimes there’s a little bit of luck involved, and maybe we aren’t. Reaching out to the right people, and we haven’t identified our ideal prospects. So there, there are some reasons why those nos can have, but I would much rather have the person who’s reaching out to more people and telling them the organization story and trying to build those relationships with people and trying to make that connection. Then someone who just did the one try and they happened to get lucky, and they got the yes. So it’s very important as leaders that we reward, not just the results. But the activities that go into getting those nos. Our people are taking advantage and taking some chances and making some of those tasks that are required.
Q- How big the extra mile in an organization or a camp we need to make for a customer to avoid nos?
I think that kind of research could lit end up leading to changes within the company, and that would, I believe, would be a good thing. And of course, That has to come from the top, and it has to be a cultural thing. This is what we keep seeing. We keep having people tell us no, because of that, this one issue, we need to change this, or we need to do something different. so hopefully, as a team and leaders within a company can say, “We’re getting multiple nos because of this issue.” And that’s why I think doing that research, paying attention to those nos is important. I will say one thing, though; you can’t start doing that with every single thing. You have to have a large body of evidence, and that’s why quantity is so important. And having that data is so important because just because one person says, well, you’re too expensive. Yeah, too expensive means nothing because that’s just for that person. And then you would start making yourself crazy something to keep in mind that we say a lot, which is good, no is better than a bad. So you don’t have to bend over backward to try to make every prospect happy and do all these things for them just because you’re trying to get the yes. When sometimes it’s not worth it.
Q- What is your favorite reply when a customer says no to your service or product?
Well, I guess my favorite one is I like saying that I’m surprised. I know that sounds like who would say that? When I’m talking to somebody, and it seems like we’re moving down the path that it’s going to be a yes. And then all of a sudden it’s a, no, I am surprised. I feel like that’s being fairly authentic. I always favored what’s authentic and what feels right with the person that you’re talking to. So you have to have a certain bond to pull that off. But I think being surprised and, and if you are saying, I’m surprised because we’ve had this great conversation and it seemed like you were interested. Why did you change your mind? Cause it seemed like you were interested.
Q- How about giving a free product, and after 10 minutes, or through any other means, does it work to prevent them from saying no. how do you advise them?
There are all kinds of ways to get around people saying no.And I think that offering incentives or doing things that can give people a taste of what you have to offer is smart. Ultimately you know, that’s one of these strategic things that you have to test to see, does that work better, or does just simply having somebody make a decision yes or no, and buying outright. That’s something that I think. It has to be tested, and that’s a good thing. And that comes back to this idea of being willing to fail. Being willing to test things and say, we tried this and we gave this free offer, and people aren’t signing up. And so it didn’t work. Let’s try something else.
Q- 3 lessons that you have learned so far in B2B Sales.
I think the biggest thing is having real clarity on who your ideal prospect is. That saves you much time because much time in B2B sales is figuring out who’s qualified—and disqualifying those that are not as quickly as possible. So they don’t Take up time and space in your system and your mind thinking this is a great prospect. I’ve done this, by the way. I’ve made all these mistakes. I’m thinking, Oh, this is a great prospect, and then finding out later, because I didn’t research that they weren’t a great prospect.
You are using your customers’ language. If you can specialize in a particular niche industry or area, then you’re able to speak the language of your prospect, and they hear that, and they understand it. And it’s so wildly attractive every time that we, um, That even from what we do, which is, and we don’t work in that many different markets, but the more we’re able to speak the language of our prospects, um, the better, and then three in BDB sales, it’s just persistent. You know, don’t assume I’ve learned this easily. It’s taken me a year sometimes to close deals. Um, because we have a long sales cycle and so I’ve learned to be patient, but I’ve also learned to be persistent. You have to stick with it. Sometimes people don’t say yes for a long time. It’s not about your timetable. It’s about their timetable.