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Somebody repeated this old sales cliche to me last week. It’s stuck in my brain because it is one of those examples of “old school selling” that just seems to have stuck around even though it seems completely wrong to me. It’s the sales equivalent of an “old wives tale”.
If you analyze this statement logically, you pretty quickly see that it’s wrong. “The real selling starts with the first ‘No'” This statement implies that you want your prospect to object to your offerings. Your goal is somehow to get as many “no’s” as you can, then you can start selling for real.
My experience is quite the opposite. Sure, there are ways to handle objections when they arise but I certainly don’t want them. The real selling starts on day one when you figure out the basic value proposition of your company or offering. It continues as you research and understand your customers’ industries and businesses.
When you are prospecting, or sitting in a meeting with a prospect, you ask questions based on having a deep understanding of their industry, company and individual situation. In this scenario you don’t get many “No’s”. The prospect respects you for doing your homework and responds to your questions. You unearth opportunities for you to work together to fix problems or generate improvements.
Selling starts day one. Do your homework, ask questions, develop solutions and you will generate sales – not “No’s”.