alt text image of man standing in front of a wall with a no sign

A Yes Is More Difficult Than a No

Getting a “yes” is more difficult than getting a ‘no.” You have to work very hard for a “yes.”

You have to work very hard to understand your dream client’s needs. This is easier said than done, and it almost always requires that you start building that understanding in advance of an opportunity. Sometimes a “no” is easier than upsetting the status quo; it looks risky.

Are you collaborating with your dream client in a way that indicates to them that you are deeply connected to their needs?

You also have to work exceedingly hard to build consensus. Often you aren’t anywhere near your client’s location when the real sale is being made—or lost. Your client’s have their own caucuses. If you can’t influence those conversations—or participate in them—you can easily find your way to a “no.”

Are you working through your dream client’s company, building consensus horizontally and vertically through their organization?

There aren’t too many challenges more difficult than dealing with price. If your price is higher, it’s more difficult to get a “yes” than a “no.” You likely have to be in front of the opportunity. You have to be able to differentiate your offering. There is no way you can command a higher price without creating more value. And it’s guaranteed that you are going to have to help your dream client justify paying a higher price for a greater value (and a lower overall cost).

Are you worth paying more to obtain? Does the way you sell prove it?

It’s tough to get to “yes,” because it’s easier for your client to say “no.” It’s easy to choose the status quo. Your competitor, the one they’re working with now, is the devil they know and you’re the devil they don’t know.

Are you following this? It’s difficult to win and easy to lose.

This means you have to bring your A-game to every contest. It means that you have to approach every interaction as if it counts—because it does. You have to create value for your dream clients—and all of their stakeholders—during every sales interaction.


Are you preparing for sales interactions in a way that takes into account how difficult it is to win and how easy it is to lose?

Are you competing like it’s difficult to win? Or are you wading in, apathetic and complacent?

What are the things that you can do as a salesperson to make it easier to win?

How do you make it easy for your client to say “no?”

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  • Jacques Werth

    We Warm-Call hundreds of prospects and present offers designed to elicit a Yes or No answer. Most prospects say “No.” We say “Okay, goodbye” and we call them again every 3 weeks with differently worded prospecting offers.

    Some prospects say “Yes” and we ask “Why?” That results in appointments with about 70% of them and we close more than half.

    The more times we call a prospect, the more likely they are to eventually say “Yes.”

    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      Thanks for sharing your experience here, Jacques. It’s interesting that different words get a different response . . . even though it’s the same offer. And persistence counts for a lot more than most people imagine.

      • Jacques Werth

        Your right again.
        Prospects buy in their own time for their own reasons.

        The first couple of times you call a prospect you are a stranger. By the third or fourth time you’re the one who gives them good information, but does not push them to buy. After that, you’re the only one they think of for your type of products and/or services.

      • S. Anthony Iannarino

        So right, Jacques. The long cycles between calls ensures that you remain a stranger.