Do you strive a 'no' response?

Last updated by Tiago Araújo [SSW] 3 days ago.See history

Harnessing the power of 'No' - In sales and negotiations, the traditional approach often focuses on steering the conversation towards a series of 'yes' responses. However, a more effective strategy can be to encourage potential customers to say 'no'. This approach, known as 'no-oriented questioning', not only alleviates the pressure on prospects but also opens up a more honest and productive dialogue.

The Strategy

  1. Start with a 'no-oriented' question - Instead of asking "Is now a good time to talk?" try "Is now a bad time to talk?" This question makes it easier for prospects to feel in control and less pressured. A 'no' response here actually means they are open to the conversation
  2. Frame your propositions differently - Replace "Is this a good idea?" with "Is it a ridiculous idea to...?" This phrasing encourages a 'no', which paradoxically can mean they are open to considering your idea. The information that follows their 'no' often reveals their true concerns or interests
  3. Invert commitment questions - Instead of "Do you agree?" ask "Are you against...?" This not only reduces the pressure of commitment but also clarifies their position more effectively
  4. Reengage with a 'No-oriented' question - If a prospect has gone silent, ask "Have you given up on this project/idea?" This question prompts them to explain their current stance and can reignite the conversation

Why it works

This approach shifts the dynamic of the conversation. It makes the prospect feel safe and in control, reducing their anxiety and resistance. By encouraging 'no' responses, you gain clearer insights into their needs and concerns, allowing for a more genuine and productive dialogue. This method also helps in building trust, as it shows that you respect their opinions and are not merely pushing for a sale.

We've all experienced those cold calls that begin with an awkward pause as the phone connects from overseas, followed by the all-too-familiar "How are you today?" Often, these calls involve scripts that lead to questions with only one obvious answer, like 'Yes.' For example, 'Do you like breathing?' This approach can feel manipulative and disingenuous. In the past, when cold calls were less common, this 'Yes' tactic might have occasionally worked. However, in today's environment, even if you manage to elicit a 'Yes,' if the person on the other end feels manipulated, you're likely to lose the sale.

In the realm of software consultancy, where sales are not about fast-moving consumer goods but rather high-value transactions, the quality of your initial call is crucial. It's important to balance talking about the value you offer with being an attentive listener, truly understanding the needs and concerns of your prospect.

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