It’s less difficult to get from “no” to “yes” than it is to get from “maybe” to “yes”. In this edition I’ll explain why that is and what to do about it.

When a prospect says “no” to you, there are a number of things you can do;

(1) You can thank them and go away – bail out – if you’re afraid of upsetting the prospect;

(2) You can thank them for their honesty and ask them why they said “no” – an opportunity for you to fix what went wrong and start selling again;

(3) You can resort to what never works and restate your product or service’s features and benefits – sounds like the hard sell to your prospect – and increase the prospect’s resistance;

(4) If you’re selling the Baseline Selling way and you’ve used the Inoffensive Close and somehow managed to get a “no” you can move to the Rule of Triple Elimination.

The point is that you have a number of things you can do, even though only two of the above options will work.

On the other hand, where can you go if you get a “maybe”? You can’t ask why because they didn’t say “no” yet.  You can’t bail out – you haven’t reached closure yet. You could use option 3 but you’ll still have a “maybe”. You can move to the Rule of Triple Elimination.  The major problem with a “maybe” is that you don’t have anything to work with and “maybe’s” don’t often turn into “yeses”.

There are only two sure things you can do when you get a “maybe”; You can use the Rule of Triple Elimination to find out what’s in the way or you can ask them to say “no” so that you can find out why they said “no”.

Let me walk you though an example on how to turn a no into a yes. Read it through a couple of times because in real life, you can do this in about 30 seconds. Let’s assume that the prospect said “no” and when asked why, replied that they didn’t believe there was value in the $5,000 license/product/service/proposal.

Ask if there would be value without the license and the prospect still says “no”. If they don’t see the value, restating features and benefits won’t do it.  You should then confirm that the problem is really that the prospect is skeptical. Let the prospect say yes to that because you can work with a prospect who is skeptical more easily than you can work with a prospect who fails to see value. When the prospect confirms that they are skeptical, you can confirm that there isn’t anything you can say that will make them feel any less skeptical. Let them agree to that because they’ll think you can’t sell them anything at this point, keeping their resistance low.  Finally, state that you assume that talking with some customers/clients wouldn’t make them feel any less skeptical either. That should cause them to disagree, that talking to a customer/client would in fact help. Then, ask where you would be if they hear what they need to from the reference. If they’d be ready to purchase, you can give out the reference. If there would still be a barrier to doing business, deal with that barrier prior to providing any references. Finally, when all the barriers have been dealt with, put them in touch with the references and close the sale.

The previous example includes three simple statements to get from no to yes.

Review Baseline Selling for more examples.