Sales mindset: Expect the Yes, embrace the No

by Steli Efti

One of the things that's preventing people from achieving sales success is not about which words to use, or the mechanics of sales. It's their attitude - they don't have a solid sales mindset.

Let's just look at the final step of the sales process: the close. The question you ask to trigger a purchasing decision during a sales conversation.

One of the reasons why I’ve been able to close so many deals is not because I know a ton of closing techniques. It’s because I’m get the timing right. I always ask for the close at just the right moment.

When should you ask for the close?

Ask early, ask often. Most people are so afraid of getting a no that they never even ask for a close at all. They think a single no means the deal is lost.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Don’t keep your closing question for the end of your sales pitch.

Ask for the close early on, and ask in the midst of your presentation. The perfect timing to ask for the close is: often! 

And it’s totally fine if they tell you no the first couple of times.

The right way of asking for a close is to expect a yes when you ask, and embrace a no when you get it.

Does that sound paradoxical? It’s one of the crucial things that trips many people up about sales.

Expect the yes.

Expecting a yes means that, when you’re asking for the close, your whole body language, the tonality of your voice, the look in your eyes, your attitude... all need to communicate that you believe and expect the prospect to say yes. Be committed and courageous.

Your energy and sales mindset will influence their decision. We're human beings - we pick up all these cues and on a subconscious level. How you say what you say will influence how they feel about the question. 

Embrace the no.

If you think expecting the yes is hard, think again: it’s even more difficult to embrace a no when you get it.

You walked into this ask for the close full of confidence and assurance… and then they just said no. It takes the wind out of most sales people’s sails. All the confidence and clarity they exuded when asking for the close turns into insecurity and confusion. Which is the exact wrong reaction.

If you get a no - embrace it! 

Practice being a good catcher of nos. Don’t let a no rattle you and shake you down.

Next time you walk into a sales meeting, shake hands with the prospect and say: “Hey, before I start with my presentation, are you guys ready to buy yet?” They’ll say: “No, we haven’t even seen your presentation yet.” - “Well, you seem like really smart people, I thought maybe you had made up your mind already, but no problem. I’ll get back to that question again at the end of my presentation.”

Be a bit tongue-in-cheek and have fun. 

Comfortably embrace their no. Show you’re confident that you’ll get them to buy if this is truly the right solution for them.

When they say no again, you tell them: “You know what? Sometimes the people that are the hardest to win over are the ones that stay the longest and are the most loyal. No problem if you aren’t ready yet. Let me ask you, what do we need to do to get you there? What’s missing?”

Deal with their nos. Use them as vehicles to move the sales conversation forward to the next step.

Don’t let a single no knock you down - stay in the ring and keep moving, eyes on the goal. That’s how you win in sales.