The hidden power of “No”

A lot of the time my job is focused on the “seller-side” of a sales process, but occasionally I get to step on the “buyer-side” of a sales process, which has been the case the past couple of weeks and I was reminded of a very important but often overlooked sales tactic:

Say No (to a customer)

It sounds strange right? After all we’ve heard things like, “the customer is always right” again and again (heck Zappos even made their business around serving the customer). But sometimes what’s forgotten is that to help a customer sometimes it’s much more helpful to turn down their request or tell them you/your product just doesn’t do what they are asking for.

First, it saves a lot of time for the customer going down a path that will lead to no where good (it also saves product managers and developers a lot of time chasing extraneous ‘one-offs’).

But more importantly, it gives reps a higher level of credibility and turns them into more of a trusted advisor. After all as a buyer you always face over the top claims and promises that whatever you’re purchasing is the greatest thing since sliced bread (unless of course you’re low-carb) and it will solve all of your problems as soon as you pay.

That’s what I was reminded of when I had a two different sales reps tell me “no” in the buying process, and then add in why that was the case while also providing advice on how/where to proceed. I can’t say for sure I’ll be buying from them, but I’m definitely more likely to trust their suggestions?

What are your thoughts? What makes a rep more trustworthy? Comment below.

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