What You Need to Know When Potential Clients Say “No”

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We go into sales calls with the high hopes that the person we are going to have a conversation with will say yes to our offer at the end. Of course we have high hopes- that’s the way it should be. We want all the positive energy going into the conversation. In fact, in the best circumstance, we hope that they come to the call already sold so that we don’t have to feel apprehension about getting them to a yes and instead, we can just experience the bliss of connection and excitement of moving forward.

If they come to the call already sold or if we are able to bring them to a yes, then that also means we don’t have to experience the negative feelings associated with getting no for an answer.

But, let’s take a pause before we get all caught up in the importance of having positive emotions because getting the answer no is very much a reality. It is part of the sales process when you ask a yes or no question. It’s a valid answer. So when you ask your potential client “Would you like to start coaching? Or Would you like to work with me? Sometimes people have the audacity to say the wrong answer! Come on, people, get with it, right?

But seriously, it will pay off big time to take a closer look to see where you can find your empowerment even when you get the answer no. That is an option, my friend. Being empowered no matter what.

The first step to being empowered no matter what is to normalize getting no as an answer. That’s my goal for our time together today. Here’s why: There are so many sales experts out there that talk about how to increase your conversions and how to get more sales. They talk about how to overcome objections. I’ve talked about it. And maybe all the focus on getting sales is why you think it’s a failure when you don’t get a yes. You make it mean that you aren’t good at sales or overcoming objections.

Real quick, I do want to say that yes, of course, there are specific skills you can learn that will increase the rate at which you get more sales and get better at turning a no into a yes. In fact, that is exactly what I offer on my free sales training calls. It’s a 1:1 Zoom call, that I do a few times every month for coaches like you that are ready to answer the question “I wonder if there’s anything I can do to make my sales calls better?” If you’ve thought that, take action. Find out. If you are ready to figure out what you can do differently than what you are doing now to close more clients, you need to book a call. Did I mention it’s free? Yeah, call me crazy, but it is. I love meeting coaches like you and some non-coaches. I’ve helped people in different industries up their sales game. Real estate agents, mergers and acquisitions investors, and of course, coaches in all kinds of specialties. It’s first come, first serve so sign up today. After you click on the link in my shownotes and sign up, I will send you the meeting information. In the sales training, I am going to thoroughly evaluate your current sales process and show you at least three areas that you can improve immediately. We are talking about improvement that gets you clients on your very next sales call. I have seen that happen over and over and it’s pretty cool. If you are ready to get on a call with a stranger (hi, it’s me. I’m stranger) and learn some amazing tips then grab your spot today. Show up for your business. Grab a spot. The link is in my shownotes and you can also go to my website www.catherinevanwert.com.

So, as I was saying, you can get better on your sales calls outcomes but still feel bad when you get the no or not now answers. You won’t feel better until you can fully embrace feeling rejection first. If you don’t process this you will always carry a sense of impending panic and fear into your calls, even when you convert at a higher rate. You will still feel disempowered when you get the answer no. So if you want to process this so that you aren’t being held captive to the actions of another person, you will want to pay special attention to what I am telling you today. You can’t skip steps and the first step is to get good with no. You can get “no’s” all the time and not be good at getting no. So get good at it because when you are, you can create expansion and not contraction. You can step out more fully rather than shrink back with your offer. I am going to talk more about what this means, but first…

You need to know that getting no is a normal answer even for the best of salespeople. What makes them go from good to great is being willing and able to allow the no’s to be no’s and not make it mean anything about their own skills or value and then, from that place, moving things along. Keep in mind, skills and value are subjective because they are tied with your personal style. You aren’t for everyone so the skills and value that you possess are not ideally used to convince clients who are not the best fit for you, but to skillfully articulate and show your best potential clients how your services can help them get what they want. You can decide that your client will get value no matter what, whether they are a yes or a no, and use that as the fuel for your offers.

I was in PV recently with my family. We stayed at this amazing resort by the beach and it was so beautiful. We also wanted to check out areas outside the resort so we went to downtown PV. They have a boardwalk that runs all along the ocean and there are so many vendors and cool places to check out. One of the things that my husband was on the lookout for was tacos el pastor. It’s a taco that is made with marinated meat that is roasted on a spit. They cut it off, serve it on fresh tortillas with mango or pineapple. Oh my gosh, my mouth is watering. Anyway, we got to try some foods like mangos covered in tahin, and Mexican street corn served in a tortilla chip bag with all kinds of toppings. But no tacos al pastor. We walked by a restaurant that had a greeter outside, who was trying to convince people to give the restaurant a try. My husband asked if they had the tacos, and he said no. He could have stopped there, but he didn’t. He heard what we wanted and he wanted to help us get a solution. He told us the two best places to get this specialty and directed us to the one that was in the direction we were going. He was so kind and friendly. He reiterated what they had in their restaurant and encouraged us to come back another time and give them a try while we were in PV. He provided so much value and helped make our experience so much better. He made an offer, got a no and still provided value. I am sure that he is able to get the ideal clients in the door and hearing no does not stop him from continuing to engage with people and make offers. Oh- and the tacos were amazing. So cool to have something off the beaten path.

In my opinion, what you don’t hear enough about from sales experts is how to process the answer “no” so that you can actually feel empowered and take action despite the initial disappointment. Getting a yes makes you feel like a winner, but getting a no doesn’t mean you have to feel like you are losing.

When you can master how you think about No and how to take action from rejection, you will feel much better about sales and being willing to make powerful offers because hearing “no” isn’t a problem anymore. So no more putting off mentioning your coaching program until the last 5 or 10 minutes of the sales call and rushing through your spiel. Does that sound good? What if you didn’t feel rushed or panicked when you go into your pitch but you felt confident and curious? Imagine how that would feel. So good.

Chances are excellent, like 99.9%, that when you hear no or not yet, there is a well-worn groove in your brain that makes you think a negative thought about yourself. I’ll share a few of what my clients have told me it means when they first started coaching and I am willing to bet you’ve had the same or similar thoughts at one point. Have you said to yourself that it means you aren’t showing enough value or urgency? That one is a booger bear! We do a lot of coaching around value, the idea of value, expressing value, showing value and giving value. I just talked to one of my clients about creating value around a free call today, as a matter of fact. We also talk about urgency. The thing about urgency is that you want to prompt action but you don’t want to manipulate it. The desire to create urgency can get slimy if you are not thinking of how this urgency benefits the client. If you believe that you aren’t creating enough urgency but the ideas you come up with of how to do it feels repelling, you are in a no-win situation.

Another thought you might have come up with is that failing to convert a client into a yes means that no one wants to buy what you have to offer. The funny thing is that even some of my clients that have clients still pick up and play with the thought that no one wants what they have to offer. It’s like that thought is just a bad habit and it’s not based on facts or even concrete evidence. You know what’s more true? Saying “There are some people who want what I have to offer and are willing to pay for it”. It’s just a matter of making an offer to the ideal client. This means you need to be willing to be fully invested in the sales call process so that you learn to enjoy it and increase your ability to meet the people who will say yes.

So what other thoughts are you having around getting no as an answer? Are they based on real evidence? Are they useful? If you are using rejection as evidence that there is something wrong with you or your offer, you are allowing the circumstances and not you, to determine your worth. Let’s go so far as to say that someone specifically and personally rejected you, guess what? You still get to choose how you think about their actions and what you make it mean. That’s why I asked you to determine if your thoughts are useful. Our actions are a reflection of who we are and what we think and their actions are a reflection of who they are and what they think. Give them permission to think whatever they want because otherwise, you are going to carry around the mental baggage of personalizing rejection.

When you go into a call thinking that no one wants to pay what you are asking, that downward energy will show up in how you offer your coaching. Your mannerisms, your verbiage, your enthusiasm, are all affected by those emotions created with that thought. Your mental and emotional well-being are way too important to allow these unhelpful thoughts to take hold. It is unhelpful and toxic not just for your ability to convert clients, but your ability to believe in yourself and create resiliency. Your identity is everything. How you see yourself is what defines how capable you feel. You get to decide how capable you are and you are right no matter what you decide because you will rise to that level. When you signed up to be a coach, you also signed up to be a business owner and I bet you love owning a business. Part of this means that you will face rejection, so embrace this part of your business.

Otherwise, if you really go wild with these thoughts, you will question the viability of your business. You will question if you are good enough or have what it takes to make your business work. There’s only one outcome for a person who stays uncertain and is unable to fully put themselves out there, and that is stagnation. Your growth is at stake. The saying “You’re either growing or dying. Stagnation does not exist in the universe.” is so true.

If you spend time wondering things like why you aren’t good at selling or why people don’t want what you are offering, it will seem like it’s an impossible goal. You will not feel fondly about sales and you will want to shortcut the sales process. What this looks like is spending time wondering if the client you are about to talk to is actually ready to commit to coaching and pay for coaching. What does this create for you? Uncertainty. Doubt. Maybe even anxiety. This is not useful energy for you to have when you are talking to potential clients because it blocks high vibe emotions like certainty and confidence. Calm. It’s not hard to guess which will allow you to be more present for your sales call.

If you want to feel more empowered about calls, being ok with getting a No is critical. Remember that I said it’s expansive when you are open to hearing rejection? I’ve talked about the Ted Talk 100 Days of Rejection with Jia Jiang. A quick refresher- he did an experiment of making some pretty uncommon requests from strangers for 100 days. He said on Day 1, he asked a security guard if he could borrow $100. The security guard said no, but he also asked “why?” and Jia Jiang ran off without answering. He had all this on video, so when he looked at the video, he realized that the security guard didn’t just say no, but had asked him why. He decided that the next day, he would not run away from whomever he made a request. The second day, he ate at a burger place and when he was done, he asked for a “burger refill”. They rejected him but when they asked what that meant, he stuck around and explained what it meant and even followed up with if they gave him another burger as a refill, he would really love that place even more. They declined, but he felt more empowered because he was able to have a conversation with them. On the third day, he went to a donut place and asked them to customize his donuts into the Olympic rings and they did it. He learned that when he wasn’t afraid of the answer “no”, he could have better conversations, that people were curious, he could learn more about them and in turn, he could negotiate better. He could sometimes turn the initial answer of no into a yes once he understood the person he was talking to better.

I love that so much. What a great illustration of what can happen when you take the sting out of rejection. It’s how you think about it that gives you freedom.

Let me share some thoughts you can have about getting a no.

If you believe there is no personal attachment to getting no, you could think:

  • Getting no’s are a natural and expected part of any offer.
  • If a person says no, they are not a good fit right now and that’s ok.
  • I only want to work with people who are a hell yes.
  • I want to let the no’s be an opportunity for me to get curious and understand my audience even better through meaningful conversations.
  • My ability to accept no as an answer and quickly move on creates resiliency.

With thoughts like those, you will feel more empowered. Practice them and feel them. You will move from a place of feeling discouraged to not allowing the actions of others define how you feel about your offer or your business or yourself as a coach.

Being unattached to the outcome decreases how much you get in your head about every word you are saying during the call. It gives you freedom from needing validation. While getting sales is a form of validation, I want to distinguish that there is a difference between personal validation and market validation. Personal validation is your worth, your identity, and your ability as a coach and business owner. Market validation is about compelling offers, enticing messaging, and copy that creates buy-in. If you mix the two up and you are using rejection against your personal validation, you will be stuck. You can’t begin to decode or strategize what you need to shift in order to gain market validation because you will just think that you suck.

Offers that you make that get rejected do not equal a lack of personal validation. Rejected offers are actually neutral and your thoughts about it are what can give you traction or hold you back. Can you see how offers that get rejected are actually a neutral circumstance? It is as neutral as offering a cookie. However, attaching to the outcome and believing it is about you is a formula for self-sabotage. You will get much further with creating a perspective that allows for rejection to be neutral. What you want is to get comfortable with hearing “no” so that you can move onto the next iteration of how you show up and how you market.

When you are ok with getting no for an answer, you shift into comfort. You relax into the process. Now you can tap into other emotions instead.

Curiosity. You are open to learning more about what makes people say no. When you learn that, you can then understand what makes people say yes and you can create more opportunities for a yes based on what they say.

When you don’t shut down after hearing no as an answer, you get to use it as an opportunity to connect again. For example, I had a sales call with a client that went really well. She said that she was all in to start coaching by the end of the conversation. I sent her the information over email and I got an email back a few days later stating that she was having second thoughts on starting right away because she thought about it over the weekend and realized she had a big tax bill that was coming due. She said she wanted to hold off and revisit working together later.

I didn’t make this mean that my offer wasn’t powerful enough. I didn’t make it mean that I did not show enough value. I emailed her back and reiterated what we went over during our conversation, showing her her thoughts and her desires. I let her know that what she wanted was still very much possible and I alleviated the fears she brought up by offering a different perspective. I made it clear that none of what I said was to get her to a yes, but to expand on the results she really wanted and the pathway to get there.

She paid the invoice immediately and we got started with coaching. It could have gone either way, but the point is that when you are unattached, you can fully advocate for the client and freely share your thoughts as a person who wants them to get what they want. Sometimes that means a yes and sometimes that means a no, but most importantly, it means that you are not making it mean that you are lacking something. You get to really step up and serve people in a way that feels amazing because you are not operating from fear of rejection. Getting no as an answer is normal so don’t allow it to be the reason for not showing up fully.

Do you see the value of intentionally choosing to let no be a valid answer that doesn’t reflect on your value or abilities? Choose to show up to calls with clean energy, ready to rock your side of the conversation. You can value our own offer, be sold on your own offer and feel excited that there are people that want what you have to offer.

There is so much emotional freedom and resilience in allowing “no” as an answer. Don’t use it as a tool to sabotage yourself, use it as a tool to sharpen your messaging and offer.

Guess what will happen for you? You will start to love and value the sales process because you will treat it like any other conversation. You will see it as a way to connect and serve unconditionally. You will create a deeper understanding of who your ideal client is, what he or she feels, what their fears are, what hold them back, and what moves them forward. You feel empowered to connect, gain permission to get the objection behind the objection, and give the client clarity. That is a beautiful and valuable way to spend time getting to know your people.

Remember, getting no as an answer is totally ok. It’s normal. It doesn’t mean you failed. And when you truly own that, you will open up your whole self on sales calls and you WILL find your ideal clients. When you aren’t afraid of getting no, you have freedom to be the coach you were meant to be. You are an amazing human being with a big heart who wants to serve clients and make the world a better place.

Have a wonderful day and I will see you next week. If you got some value from todays episode, please leave a rating and review today. The last one that is on there is one that I left myself because I wanted to say hello. Help me out? Thanks!

One last thing- if you want to take your sales call skills to the next level and chat with me on Zoom, grab your spot today. Imagine, in a week or two, we could be chatting about some specific actionable things you can do to get more sales. Only apply if you like having fun while planning for success. It will be fun, I promise.

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