Stuff We Make Up About Our Prospects

? Go through the "no's" to get to "yes."

? It takes X number of "no's" to get 1 "yes."

? Every "no" brings you closer to "yes."

I've heard these statements in so many sales training courses and read them in so many sales books. No wonder so many people hate cold calling! Who wants to hear "no"? Who wants to go through X number of "no's" to get to "yes"? That's exhausting and demoralizing. Ecch!

Wouldn't it be so much nicer if almost no one said "no"? Isn't it great to hear "yes"! Wouldn't it be wonderful to only hear possibilities? Well, you can. And this is how:

I have been writing a lot recently about changing the way that you think. Many times, what we think is a "no" is really something that we are making up! It is important to differentiate between the actual words your prospect says and what you think your prospect is saying. There are the "facts," or "the words," and then there are the stories, the things we make up about what we think our prospect is really saying. Frequently, the two have nothing in common!

Learning to hear what your prospect is actually saying versus what you make up they are saying will result in hearing fewer and fewer "no's" and feeling less and less rejection. This does take some work and practice, like learning any new skill, but it can be done. Here are some examples:

? If a prospect says to you that they are not the decision-maker and that you need to speak with someone else, that is not a "no." She is not the decision-maker. But if she gives you the name of the decision-maker, that is a "yes." She is helping!

? When you are trying to set a new business appointment, if a prospect asks you to "send something" instead, that is not a "no." More than likely, it means you haven't convinced her yet. Send her something-you now have a second chance.

? If a prospect says she's busy and asks you to call back, that is not a "no." That's a request to call her back. Do so.

? If a prospect's secretary says that your prospect is in a meeting, that is not a "no." Your prospect is in a meeting. Ask when she will be done with that meeting, and call back then.

Many of our "no's" are actually quite neutral. But we don't hear them as neutral. We read extra or hidden meaning into the neutral words and turn them into something quite different. Examine the facts. Examine what is actually being said. Check to see if you are "making stuff up" about a conversation that, when you examine it, is actually neutral. Is your prospect really saying "no," or is it a story that you are telling yourself?

Hearing "no" continually is demoralizing and dispiriting. It is difficult to be energized and interested when facing that wall of rejection. Stop hearing "no" by always checking your facts in prospecting and sales situations. As you check your facts, stop yourself from "making stuff up" about those facts. As you do this, you will find that many of your "no's" disappear. You will hear more "yes's." While the "no's" may never disappear completely, eventually "no" itself will become the aberration. You will then be able to prospect in a whole new way. Go to it!

© 2004 Wendy Weiss

Wendy Weiss, The Queen of Cold Calling & Selling Success, is a sales trainer, author and sales coach. She is the author of Cold Calling for Women and Cold Calling College. Get her free e-zine, Opening Doors & Closing Sales, at

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