Getting Told “No” Sucks
It’s true; it sucks when a client you want to work with tells you “No.”
Maybe you’ve worked hard to earn their business. Maybe you know your product/service is a good fit to solve their problem and meet their need. Maybe they have a large network of contacts and would be a potential referral source for your work. Or maybe, you just really want to close a sale.
It’s disappointing. For some people, being told “No” can ruin your whole day, week, or even month.
How do you react when a client you want to work with tells you “No?”
Recently, I was contacted by a woman wanting to sell me her products. When she asked if I would be willing to try her product, I explained I didn’t think it was a good fit for me. She asked if I would look over some information, do some research and consider it further. She offered to send me some information via email. I agreed, and a week later she contacted me wanting to know if I could chat with her on the phone. She didn’t indicate what she wanted to chat about and I was under the impression she was interested in hiring me for some work with her team based on a previous discussion we’d had.
When we got on the phone, she wanted to know if I had gone through the information she sent me. I explained I hadn’t received an email from her and had not looked any further at her products. She realized she sent the email to the wrong person and then proceeded to walk me through multiple pages on a website which led to a product page where she asked me to place an order.
I felt a little overwhelmed having to jump through so many hoops while on the phone with her. I told her in a kind way, “I appreciate you taking the time to share more information with me about your product. To be honest, I’m feeling overwhelmed, and I’m not interested in placing an order.”
Her whole demeanor changed after that, and I could tell she was upset with me.
Her response, “Nikki, you said you were willing to try my product, and now you’re saying you’re not willing.”
I said, “I’m so sorry if I gave you that impression, I thought I had agreed to look over an email you were going to send, which I didn’t receive and now looking at your website, I know this product is not a good fit for me.”
Her next response, “Hmm, well ok then, I guess I’ll just see you around.” Then she hung up.
It was awkward. I was irritated and felt bad at the same time. I like this woman, I wish her well, and her product is not for me.
It’s disappointing to get told “No,” however, how you respond to the client in the moment can make or break your opportunity to do business with them again in the future.
Things change, have you noticed? People change their minds, their jobs, their location, etc.
It could be at some point, I change my mind and am willing to try the product. Maybe she changes companies and sells something else in which I’d be interested.
What won’t change is the impression she made at the end of our conversation. When I told her no, instead of keeping her professional and friendly composure intact, she became defensive and short with me. She’s not someone I would seek out to buy from in the future.
Your Savvy Sales Tip this week: Set yourself up for future business by being professional and maintaining your composure even when a client tells you “No.”
Here’s a possible language suggestion to help you:
“Thank you for the time you’ve given me. I’d sure appreciate the chance to earn your business in the future if/when you may need my product/service.”
Now spend a few minutes chatting with the client about an unrelated topic. Send a non-verbal message that your relationship is still important. Leave the meeting with the client feeling good about the interaction with you. They are more likely to come back to you in the future when they do need what you’re selling.
Wishing you a successful sales week!
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