The power of no
  • sales
  • Blog post

The power of no

Rob is an inventory manager up to his underwear in problems. His company just acquired another firm and Rob’s inventory system is cracking under the strain. He needs a better one. He needs it now. And he needs it to work flawlessly, or all those new customers will be out the door.

Donna Watson, the rep for Inventory Insights, has just presented her recommendations to Rob, his IT director and CFO. “Does anyone have any questions?”

“I do,” the IT manager replies. “Do you offer a fleet management solution?”

“We do,” Donna says, smiling. “But I wouldn’t recommend it.”

“How’s that again?”

“What’s that? You wouldn’t recommend it?”

“No,” Donna says. “It’s designed for smaller companies. I’ll be happy to recommend some other vendors, though.”

“I like your plan for integrating the two inventory systems,” the CFO says. “We’re having similar issues with our accounting systems. Do you think you could you help us with that?”

“No,” Donna says.

Is Donna nuts? The buyers were begging for her help. And she just said no. Twice.

Well, imagine for a moment that you’re the buyer. You just heard two powerful and reassuring messages from Donna:

  • She seems to tell the truth
  • She knows what she’s good at

Early in a relationship, buyers don’t know you. They don’t know your product or service. The number-one question in their mind is, “Can I trust this person?”

When Donna admitted her limitations, her credibility soared. So when it comes to her true areas of expertise – inventory systems – her buyers believe what she tells them.

Nobody’s good at everything. But lots of people will say anything to get the sale. So when salespeople are too quick to say yes, buyers get suspicious.

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