Home > Consumer Behavior > Why don't prospects just say No if they don't want it?

Why don't prospects just say No if they don't want it?

Salespeople could spend a lot more time with real buyers if prospects who don't want what's being offered would just say so instead of leading a salesperson to believe otherwise. Why do you think prospects don't just say no? - by Marcus
There are a bunch of reasons why prospects lie, including not wanting to look foolish. Another is the prospect's personality trait of passiveness (instead of assertiveness). Almost all salespeople need to be skeptical all the time to protect themselves from being mislead. - by Skip Anderson
Salespeople could spend a lot more time with real buyers if prospects who don't want what's being offered would just say so instead of leading a salesperson to believe otherwise. Why do you think prospects don't just say no?
Why do people in general have a difficult time with no? I think some of the reasons are related.

From the sales side, I've found it interesting how a NO so often, with a little more gentle probing meant that I, the seller, wasn't answering the right question or worst yet, answered the question I interpreted theirs to be!

But people in general have a difficult time with no because they don't want to disappoint or displease.

I can't wait to read the other wise words here.

I like this question.

Bottom line: a no isn't always a no, at least in selling! - by patweber
Salespeople could spend a lot more time with real buyers if prospects who don't want what's being offered would just say so instead of leading a salesperson to believe otherwise. Why do you think prospects don't just say no?
That is an excellent thought-provoking question, Marcus.

It is true that most people don't actually use "No" when rejecting a salesperson's offer. I developed a theory on that a few years ago. "No" has been called the most powerful word in the English language, and I think it is a commonplace tendency in our culture not to engage powerful tools when other tools are available. There is a finalization aspect to the word, and I believe that people often want to give the illusion that a relationship, even a new one, is open ended, perhaps because of a consciousness that it is indeed a small world and roles between the same two people could be reversed in the future.

I would guess that David Sandler based some of his material off of his personal observations and thoughts on the very same question you pose. More recently, Jim Camp has explored it. His book, Start With No is an excellent read. - by Ace Coldiron
Because it's hard to say no. In truth, they'd benefit themselves because they might get fewer callbacks.

We actually run a homework exercise in our negotiation workshops in which we ask participants to get at least three people to say "no" to them (there are obviously groundrules which I won't get into here). The results are always astounding and the lessons learned are twofold:

1. Ask for what you want. If you already think you'll get a "no," you have nothing to lose.

2. People invariably say "yes" or "maybe" because it's hard to say "no." I think this is what you're referring to.

It's the next job of the sales person to dig deeper and get details about moving forward or commitment. The details of the "yes" are the only way to know if a prospect is serious or not. Furthermore, recognizing the implicit nature of prospects to say "yes" or at least not "no," you may want to vary/alter your questions so you get a more realistic and truthful answer.

Good luck,
Stephen - by sfrenkel
There are two things here:
1. Changing dynamics with the current economic environment has changed the decision maker and decision criteria. Those that did make decisions due to downsizing no longer have authority.
2. It is the opportunity of every selling professional to only deal with decision makers and ensure you ask the questions to determine who is. The opportunities begin and end with the selling professional.


Make every day an opportunity.
Drew Stevens - by Drew Stevens
Marcus, your level of frustration would make more sense, if you were truly dealing with "prospects" (versus "suspects").

In other words, if you're investing time in qualifying your suspects, you don't need to hear a "no". If you work an account through a discovery process with diligent probing skills combined with expert listening skills, you will become confident in your prospect.

There still exists the opportunity for a "no" but you'll be much more comfortable with your status in the account.

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
As a customer, I know I'm guilty of this.

It's not that I know I should say no but say yes.

It's more that I'm too optimistic and too interested - combined with not wanting to disappoint and upset.

Very often I agree to things which - when I look at them rationally afterwards - I realise I just don't have the time for and can't fit in. I'll even buy things and never use them because they're a good idea in isolation - I just never get round to them (books are a classic example).

So my natural desire to please combines with my inability to realise that something is unrealistic. The end result - I don't say no when I really should.

I suspect others may be similar.

Ian - by ianbrodie
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