McBride for Business Blog

Ethical Selling:  Dealing with “No”

June 14, 2018 // R. Shawn McBride // No Comments »

***NOTE: This is part of a multi-article series on ethics in selling. The Our Shawn provides keynotes and other programs on ethical selling and he brings you some of his thoughts and findings here. Make sure you check out all of the articles at our blog. If you need more assistance call us for an appointment.***

If you are going to sell (and sell well) you are going to hear a lot of “no’s.”

There is certainly nothing ethically wrong with asking and getting an answer of “no.”

The ethical question comes in with what do you do with a “no”

If you study different sales materials – like I do – you’ll see that “no” is often treated a lot of different ways from “ignore it” to “now the sales begin” to “walk away” to never speak again.

What you do with the “no” shows a lot of how your value your fellow man and your profession.

Both sides

One side of the argument is a “no” is a “no.” Those that believe in this rationale say that if the person wanted to buy they would buy.

But we know that life isn’t that simple. There are usually a lot of reasons behind a “no” (more on that later).

On the other extreme are folks like Grant Cardone who will tell you to keep pushing for the sale.

So aside from good business where does ethics come in?

Enter ethics

Ethics are moral principles that guide behavior.

At some level impacting others and not following their interests would be considered by most to be unethical. We each have the right right to live free and independently.

But we also know that sometimes “no” is just “no for now.”  So when do we stop? When might be bothering others such much that it’s unethical?

My working rule.

My working rule is that a “no” is a “no” and I look for the next prospect.

This is assuming that the prospect has full information, understands their situation and has knowingly decided to not work with me or my team. Many surface “no’s” don’t meet this standard — rarely are our prospects working on full information.

But when they are and say “no” that’s when I say “a no is a no.”

I am sure I am leaving tons of money on the table and some sales trainers would turn a hard “no” into a yes. But it someone doesn’t care for my offering I don’t want to hard sell them into buying. I prefer buyers that come to me knowing the value I add.

And with my standard I can sleep at night knowing I am not bothering others.

And it’s good business too. I want customers that are really motivated. If it’s “no” because of current conditions I know the sales process can continue. But if they don’t want me I don’t want them. There are a lot of other prospects out there.

The Our Shawn

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