The Importance of “No”

I had an interesting conversation today with John Kervorkian. We talked about a wide range of topics and I found out that he’s done some pretty high powered things. We were talking about managing salespeople, and he commented, “I used to just start with the “No’s.”” Simple? Obvious? Genius! If your salesman had 12 sales calls last week and 10 of them bought, ask about the ones that didn’t.

I’m hoping that he comments to add further insight.

4 thoughts on “The Importance of “No”

  1. Rick, thank you for the invitation to comment on the “No’s” post you made after our conversation. I’d like to make a point of clarification. In a sales manager – sales rep conversation, I wouldn’t address the “No’s” received from prospects as part of the typical sales manager (rude) tactic of asking about the only things that the rep doesn’t want to talk about, rather it was a means of measuring sales prospecting activity. An important part of the sales manager role, in my view, is helping reps develop a consistent pace of new orders (sales). This requires that they are consistently “in the game”, that is consistently presenting to prospects that are ready to make decision. Being in that position would mean that they would be getting “Yes’s” or “No’s” on a consistent basis. Whether they got a “Yes” or a “No” is secondary to the point that they had identified Who’s Buying Next and had secured an opportunity to present their offering. We would count both the “Yes’s” and “No’s” as successful prospecting and appointment setting against our established quota for that type of activity and then address each case and discuss what went right and/or what went wrong. The purpose was to exceed our goals for the number and for the pace (frequency) of timely sales presentations while improving the results of each opportunity by analyzing what occurred during the sales presentation (or sales process) that caused either the “Yes” or “No” to occur. Our desired sales management result would be a measurable improvement in the consistency and number of well timed sales approaches and an ever increasing number of “Yes’s” instead of “No’s” – in other words a predictable and consistent pace of timely sales approaches and an ever increasing number of “Yes’s”. I am happy to discuss my Who’s Buying Next approach in this forum or via phone (401-884-9100) or email (john dot kevorkian at cox dot net) whenever it may be helpful.

  2. Shameless self-promotion!John, Pete’s a client and promotes Dave Kurlan and myself almost as much as himself. He has been very helpful with my blogging and if you’re looking for something else to do between 5 PM and 9 AM, Pete’s the man.

  3. Thank you for your kind comments. I don’t think the world needs another blog owner, in my judgement it need more blog participants.

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