July 16, 2020

When Your Prospect Says No to Your Request for a Meeting

The reality is that no matter how well you do early on in your proactive call to a prospective client, very likely, the response to your first request for a meeting is going to be “No.”

This, my sales friends, is where we separate true sales hunters absolutely committed to securing early stage meetings from those sellers who play at prospecting. In most cases, that first “No” has nothing to do with you. Zero. Zilch. Nada. It’s an automatic, reflex response.

It doesn’t mean you did something wrong. It doesn’t mean your voice tone was bad, the talking points you deployed missed the mark, or that now is a bad time. It certainly doesn’t mean they’re not a good prospect for you or that you reached the wrong person. And I’m sorry to break the news that it definitely doesn’t mean that the telephone isn’t an effective sales tool anymore!

All that first “No” means is that you, a salesperson, interrupted a prospective client contact (buyer), asked for a meeting, and were given one of the standard reflex responses… “We’re all set.”  “We’re with someone else.”  “We’re under contract.” “We are happy and don’t have any challenges right now.” “It’s not in our budget.” “We’re swamped.” “Things are upside down from the pandemic and we’ve put all initiatives like this on the back burner.” 

As I coach you on what to do after receiving this automatic first “No,” it’s a perfect time to quote the great Jim Rohn (self-improvement guru and mentor to people like Brian Tracy and Tony Robbins):

"Salespeople should take lessons from their kids. What does the word ‘no’ mean to a child? Almost nothing." - Jim Rohn


Rohn’s advice to sellers is particularly relevant when we’re prospecting. The salesperson who hears that first “No” and fatally assumes the call will have a bad ending is doomed to fail because very often, it’s what we do next that secures us the meeting! The majority of meetings secured by telephone during my sales career happened after hearing that first “No.”

Earlier this week I led a group online Q&A session for recent purchasers of our New Sales. Simplified. Video Coaching Series. One of the pre-submitted questions prompted me to share my simple practical approach for bouncing off that first “No” and asking a second and third time for the meeting. Even better, someone followed-up asking how hard to push for the meeting when the prospect uses the current business climate (caused by the pandemic/lockdown, etc.) as an excuse for not meeting with you.

This four-minute video excerpt contains both my original coaching on bouncing off the first “No” and my impromptu riff on exactly how I’d overcome the specific pandemic/lockdown/overwhelmed/upside-down objection.

If you’re looking for a boost to secure more meetings, give this a quick watch/listen. From the  2:55 mark to the end is pure gold and I’m confident that you’ll secure meetings after adopting this approach!