The Three Outcomes



By Roger N. Daviston

Recently, in one of my Teletraining classes, I asked this question: “If I had a magic wand and could solve anything regarding your current challenges in the sales process, what would it be?”

A lot of challenges came up and one in particular was very interesting and causes us to put too much pressure on the prospect and us. The challenge was, “How do we get the prospect to say “YES” every time?”

I would say move away from the prospect and allow them to say, “No”. When you tell, or explain to, the prospect that “No” is an option, then that opens up a space for honesty. Every sales trainer and coach agrees that to make the sale you must build trust and rapport. That is the reason referrals are so easy to sell.

A technique that has always worked well for me is this: You can tell me “No”. You can tell me “Yes”. You can tell me what happens next. But please nothing in between. Prospects will tell you they want to think it over because they have high need for approval as much as most of us do. Usually when I left, the only person thinking about it was me. Then I would go into that “…Me chase… they hide mode”. Always ask the prospect if they could agree not to do that to you up front.

A good friend and mentor of mine taught me this acronym: N. O. T.

  • N – Naturally Mr. Prospect you are going to have some questions for me;
  • O – Obviously I’ll have some for you. Is this OK if we ask and answer each other’s questions?;
  • T – Typically at the end of this process one of two things will happen. You will either like what you see or you will not. Do me a favor. If you do not like what you see for any reason could you just be honest and tell me “No”. On the other hand, if you do like what you see, could you tell me and be real clear about what needs to happen next? It could be “start”, it could be “start next week”, it could be, “here is a down payment.” I don’t know, you are the boss.

When I started doing this it took a lot of pressure off of me and they could sense it. Once I became more relaxed, they would relax and we could have an open, honest conversation and I made more sales.

Also, when I came away with a “No”, I reached one of my outcomes for the call, and felt good about the call because “No” was acceptable.

My most important rule for selling is the possible outcomes of each call. There are only three:

  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. Clear Future

Of course you can always mess it up and learn a lesson. We have all done it. How many times have you let the prospect trick you into thinking they were really going to get back to you and they did not? Remember, you can’t lose something you don’t have. So, when they give you a “think it over” tell them you think they really mean “No”, and just don’t want to feel bad about saying it. If they deny a “No” several times, leave with a clear future of what needs to happen next.

About the author, SFC

Roger Daviston is a personal growth consultant who gets measurable results. He facilitates and encourages individuals to change behavior and make different choices to achieve better outcomes.

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