Resources  >> What Happens After “No?”

About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  March 20, 2014

What Happens After “No?”

I learn the best lessons in selling when I’m the buyer. And a conversation last month was a doozy. Sally Jo (not her real name) was referred to me by a good friend. She was upbeat, positive, and…gave me a very enticing offer. I was sorely tempted but ultimately passed. Why? Because I wasn’t convinced that she understood me or my market strategy. She had one process for everyone — newbies and established folks alike. She said she customized but we didn’t get on the same page on what that really meant. Sent a gracious email with my decision. Gave her a couple of reasons why (I like it when folks do that for me). What happened next was a surprise.

Instead of responding with, “OK, thanks for considering us” I got a full page of why her process works and a few subtle digs for not taking her up on her killer deal. Too bad. I could’ve referred her. Here’s what Sally Jo taught me about selling to high-end prospects:

  • Prepare before you speak. Go to the prospect’s website, social media links, wherever you can learn more about them. If Sally had done this and given me one or two things to consider, I would have signed up. Using a prospect as an example is a great way to show you understand their marketplace. Folks need to know that you can play in their space. If you don’t want to give free advice, then give specific examples of similar clients. How many projects you’ve done is not enough. What’s more important: whom you’ve done them for,
  • A 100% money-back guarantee is not enough to cover doubt in your competence. Even if they get all the money back, the client still has a lot time and energy invested. For high-end people, that is a high price tag. Show your stuff first (see above point) then give the killer offer.
  • What you say after hearing “no thanks” sets the tone for a future relationship. If Sally wasn’t so defensive (and insulting), I would’ve referred her to clients at the beginning of their thought leader journey. She would be perfect for them. It was an opportunity lost.

 

Bottom line: nothing happens until a prospect knows you understand them. And nothing will trump doubt in your abilities — even a 100% money-back guarantee.

 

Other Resources You Might Like:

 


About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.