How You Trained Yourself to Take No for an Answer

The dream client you’ve been pursuing has once again rejected your request for a meeting. You have asked so many times that you have lost count of how much this contact has told you “No.” You want to believe that “no” doesn’t mean “no,” that it means “maybe,” or “later,” or something.

And then you stop calling this prospect. They’re just too difficult. You give up.

A Step Onto the Slippery Slope

You’ve been calling another dream client. You haven’t called them nearly as often as you called the first dream client, the one you decided to quit pursuing. But this prospect is no different. They won’t give you the time of day, and they continually reject your request for a meeting out of hand.

Even though you’ve made only half the attempts to reach this client as the first prospect, you decide it’s hopeless. So you stop calling and move on to lower hanging fruit.

Spiraling Downward

Another dream client has taken your calls. But she’s always said “no” to each and every one of your requests for a meeting. She’s nice, polite, and professional, but she always says “no.” Honestly, you haven’t made anywhere near as many attempts to schedule a meeting with this prospect as you have the other two.

You decide that this prospect is just like the other two, and you decide to discontinue calling her. You have better things to do with your time.

Slowly, imperceptibly, you have trained yourself to take “no” for an answer. You’ve allowed yourself to give up the discomfort of persistence for the conflict-free role of pushover.

The pursuit of your dream clients is a game with no time limit. You don’t have to win now. You don’t even have to win their business next quarter. You just have to win their business eventually. If you keep giving up every time a prospect says “no,” how long will it be before you eliminate all of the dream clients in your territory?

The mark of the professional is their willingness to persist.

Filed under: Persistence

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