Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Getting To No.


I received Barry Moltz's book Bounce through the mail a few weeks ago. It's a timely reminder (from someone who had a number of entrepreneurial failures before successfully selling an online business) about the need to have a practical perspective about failure and success, their symbiotic relationship and their proximity.

He writes from a business owner perspective, but his sales background gives a number of his ideas great resonance for marketing.

When making sales calls, I believe that to get to yes, I have to first get to no with the prospect to find out whether they represent a real opportunity.....a no is useful, it tells me the prospect is not in enough pain or doesn't see enough benefit in my product to purchase it now

That's all about resilience and pragmatism and it leads him to the conclusion that

in the sales process, most of us don't lose to a competitor; rather we lose to "no decision" or to "no response" - in other words, not hearing back from the prospect. Recognize that the absence of a decision is really a no.

It's a great lesson. Too many marketers are scared of no and delude themselves that their prospects are not saying no when they effectively are. But if you face up to no, then you can focus on those who are more likely to say yes (and will do so repeatedly) or, in their absence, you can focus on what it is about your product/service that is at odds with the needs of the market and thus inspires indifference.

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