by • December 23, 2011 • Pitching & sellingComments (1)143

So your first sale got a “no”

The first few times you’re selling something expensive[1], it’s really more exploratory. You don’t know if it’s something they care enough about to pay for, or how they budget for it, or what they value it at.

Even if you get a “yes”, it’s probably a suboptimal yes, in that you could have charged more.

You’ll probably get a “no”, in which case the most important thing is being able to tease out why they declined.

Was the product right but the pricing wrong? The problem right but the product wrong? Everything right but they already spent their budget? Everything wrong but they’re too polite to say it? And so on and so on.

The more salesy you get, the harder that information becomes to retrieve. That’s one of the reasons going in with the goal of learning is helpful.

Even if they don’t “need” it in the strictest sense (e.g. it’s coming from their social responsibility budget), they’ll still have to be pretty explicit in deciding that this is a good way to spend their money. So you learn what they care about, and they you connect the purchase to that explicitly stated problem, as opposed to trying to convince them of problems they have before offering to solve them.

[1] If you’re selling something for a couple hundred bucks, you can strong-arm someone into buying it. For several thousand, they’re going to start behaving pretty rationally and need to know they need it.

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One Response to So your first sale got a “no”

  1. cathy says:

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