How To Say “No” To Pushy People
How good are you at saying no? Most of us struggle with telling people no because we don’t want to hurt their feelings or have them think negatively about us.
A few days ago a good friend called wanting some help with a situation. She said, “I know you teach people how to sell without being pushy but what do you say when someone is being pushy and won’t take no for an answer?” Great question!
First, let me be clear, I do not think we should reward bad behavior. When someone is being pushy or aggressive with you, they are taking advantage and you have every right to push back. It doesn’t mean you have to be rude by yelling or displaying bad manners. If we continue to reward this bully behavior and buy from these people, we are encouraging them to do this to others. I personally refuse to give my money to people who aren’t respectful of my boundaries. That means when I say no, I don’t expect to be hassled about it.
In the case of my friend, she’d signed up for a weekend conference and after the conference was contacted and encouraged to sign up for a $10,000 program. She enjoyed the weekend, however, wasn’t interested in continuing in the longer program. When she politely told the person no, she wasn’t interested, the person insisted she reconsider. She began telling my friend all the things she’d miss out on in her life if she didn’t sign up. My friend (who by the way, is one of the kindest people I know) politely declined again. She tried ending the conversation and the person persisted. By this time, my friend felt uncomfortable, she didn’t want to be rude and this person was not taking no for answer. She ended up saying she’d think more about it. She wanted the conversation over and wasn’t sure how else to end it.
Now, I teach a whole class on the reasons people say no and you might have heard me talk about the concept of “not yet.” However, when someone tells me no, I’m not one to push. If the person wants to end the conversation, I respect their wishes and offer to circle back one more time if their interested. If they say yes, I take that as permission to check back in. If they say no, I respect it and move on.
So back to what to say to these pushy sales people and your Savvy Sales Tip for the week: Be ready with a clear and simple no that leaves no room for discussion when someone is being pushy with you. Again, please do not reward this bad behavior and end up giving them your business because they’ve made you feel uncomfortable.
I often tell people, pushy people never hire me. They don’t know or don’t care that they are being pushy and breaking rapport with clients. It’s a one time sale, they rarely get repeat business as a result. A woman who considered herself an expert at sales once told me she doesn’t waste her time with repeat business. She’d rather find new clients each time. That was telling to me as to her particular style. Relationship selling takes respect and care for the other person’s wishes.
Here are some suggestions I gave my friend as to what to say when this person approaches her again. See if one of these resonates with you and have it ready the next time someone is being pushy with you:
Option 1: “I appreciate you asking. My answer is no.”
Option 2: “I’ve already said no. This topic is closed.”
Option 3: “Please respect my decision. My answer is no.”
Remember to be clear, don’t leave it open for discussion. You can adjust your voice tone to what’s appropriate for the given situation. Sometimes you might be soft and sweet. Other times you might need to be short and direct. You also might need to end the conversation by hanging up the phone or walking away. It’s the sales person’s job to earn your business, you get to decide when and if they get it.
Wishing you a successful week!
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