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February 2013 


Never Take No from Someone Who Can't Say Yes

By JoAn Majors


When it comes to making a proposal or pitch to deliver your product or service to a prospect, remember that the question is not just the answer; the question is the cure.


Keep in mind that the one asking the question actually controls the conversation. So find out early if the person you are speaking to can actually make the decision to purchase your product.


For many people, decision-making is not something they can do solo; they must go to someone else - a partner, manager, family member, etc.


Treat these customers with a greater degree of care since they are no doubt already uncertain, possibly insecure, maybe in a little over their heads. It's very likely that discussing proposals that cost a lot of money or time are not their favorite conversations.


Let's imagine such a scenario. Albert, your prospect, has been listening to the options you have outlined and now says one of three things:

  • "I need to think about it."
  • "I'll have to talk to my manager about that."
  • "That's awfully expensive. I can't make that kind of decision independently."

In the first case, Albert has elected to share very little information. Understand that he is actually telling you a great deal, namely that he's too uncomfortable to share the actual objection or that there may be a third party involved. That's a tip-off to you that a greater degree of trust is necessary before any disclosure about the real issue can take place.


In the second case, Albert is revealing his dilemma and not just brushing you off, so don't brush off his remark. Although you have spent plenty of time getting to know him, it's now time to find out more about his manager.


In the third case, an actual objection is stated - it's expensive - and Albert tells you he needs help with the decision. Knowing the objection and that another person is involved in the decision makes it a great deal easier to proceed.


In all three cases, your concern is how to encourage the person not present to consider your proposal. Your job is to give Albert - your walking, talking marketing tool - the opportunity to send a beneficial and acceptable message to the person who in fact may make the final decision. So what do you say?


First, you might ask, "In addition to you, is there anyone else who might influence the decision?" Once you get the answer, you ask, "What might his or her concerns about this proposal be?"


Sometimes it's about price or payment plan or return on investment; sometimes it's function or longevity. You can never know until you find out more by asking with care, concern, respect and non-judgment.


Realize that the more information you can find out about your prospect's concerns and objections, the more material you have at your disposal. The art of persuasion is nothing more than building a roadmap that establishes value and integrity to the product or service and results in what we call "destination known."


Structure your presentation or pitch so that you make it easy for the indecisive ones to do what you want them to do. Making it easy for them to get what they need means involving the decision-maker in a respectful and encouraging way. When it comes to getting a prospect's concerns out in the open and knowing the decision-makers, don't be afraid to ask!

For more info on JoAn Majors and her latest book, "Encouragementors: 16 Attitude Steps for Building Your Business, Family & Future," visit


Upcoming Live Webinars


Lighting a Contemporary Custom Home 

Date: Thursday, February 21, 2013
Time: 11 a.m. Central Time
Instructor: Daniel Blitzer
Credit: 1 CLC hour
Member Cost: $39 per participant
Register Online or Download a Registration Form
Sponsor: Lite Source 

How to Read Blueprints 

Date: Thursday, March 21, 2013 

Time: 11 a.m. Central Time 

Instructor: Joy Rey-Barreau 

Credit: 1 CLC hour 

Member Cost: $39 per participant 

Sponsor: Lutron Electronics Co.

Residential Lighting for Senior Living 

Date: Thursday, April 11, 2013 

Time: 11 a.m. Central Time 

Instructors: Terry McGowan, FIES, LC, ALA Director of Engineering and Technology 

Eunice Noell-Waggoner, President, Center of Design for an Aging Society 

Credit: 1 CLC hour 

Member Cost: $39 per participant 





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