One thing that keeps a potentially great entrepreneur or salesperson from succeeding is the word “no.” Hearing that word endlessly when just starting out can be debilitating. But, not necessarily for the reason we might think.
I believe the biggest problem about hearing “no” isn’t hearing the word itself but rather thinking that…
“I’m the only person who is hearing so many “no’s”.
That’s the killer. You see the others receiving monthly sales awards or read about the massive successes of some well-known people and it’s easy to feel as though you’re the only one who gets told “no.” The others must have only heard “yeses!”
But, that’s simply not true. Those who’ve achieved success in any worthwhile endeavor have been told no. And, they’ve been told “no” many more times than you have. Actually, a key reason they have received more “yeses” than you have is because they’ve been told “no” more times than you have been.
I love what my great friends, Andrea Waltz and Richard Fenton say in their classic, Go For No (a book I recommend highly):
“Yes is the destination. No is how you get there.”
This doesn’t mean that hearing “no” is supposed to be fun. Only that it is a natural and necessary part of the success process.
I’m not implying you should simply accept “no” without asking yourself if there is something you need to change or adjust. Again, only that it is a natural part of the process.
If you are in business, you are in sales. If you are in sales, you will hear “no.” You’ll hear “no” far more often than you will hear “yes.” And, that’s okay. Don’t let it discourage you. Know that it is simply part of the journey. You’re not the only one who hears it.
So, stay in the game. Take Andrea and Rich’s advice and embrace the no’s…even Go For No!
How do you do in that regard?
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Great post! I look at the no’s as an important part of getting to yes. If my closing ratio is for example 7 no’s and 3 yes’s out of 10, I just need to get the no’s out of the way as soon as possible. The “yes” is just around the corner.
Don: Exactly. Another terrific reframe!
Great post, Bob! I must say that the No’s have stopped (or slowed) me in my tracks more than once. It’s really an act of faith to know the yeses are out there if you just continue to forge ahead. Posts like this one are great motivators to keep that faith in tact and strong.
As always, my friend, thanks for the inspiration!
Stephen: Thank you for your kind feedback. I think it’s something we all (at least most of us – I know I do) have to continually work on and reframe. It can be very easy to fall into the discouragement trap if we don’t stay conscious of the truth of the situation…that no is simply part of the path to yes. That’s one reason I love Richard and Andrea’s book so much.
I think about how many times I say “no” to other people. I don’t mean it in a negative, personal or very often a permanent way. It still means many doors are open for other interactions. So if a “no” bothers me, I remember that I dish plenty of them out and there’s still plenty of opportunity even from that.
Beth: Thank you. Another GREAT way to look at it!
Mr. Bob this is so important. We really need to make No as our stepping stone or a mile stone in order to reach our destination; YES! How, we at times get carried away with No and feel stressed or given-up. No is really important because it creates the value of the word YES. Loved this post and thanks again.
Rajib: Thank you. Another terrific way to see the word “no” in a way that empowers us rather than weakens us! 🙂
Thank yo for this amazing post. It changed the way i see “nos”. Andreas and Richard’s books is amazing… Thank you again my dear friend
Don Julio: Thank you for your VERY kind feedback. Very appreciated!
Hey, Bob. I just ordered “Go For No”, so it’s on my reading list. Thanks for the recommendation.
Stephen: Awesome. I kNOw you’ll enjoy it! 😉
Great post Bob. I started writing a comment about the types of no for an entrepreneur and it turned into a blog post. The little no and the BIG NO.
Go For No :))))))))))))))) YES this can be devestating to get too many NO’s if you let it get to you! Before entering The Network Marketing, I was working with Telemarketing – and there you also get A LOT of NO’s. There I learned to NOT let it get to me – People are in their good right to say no – and you just have to accept that – and just get on to the next one. I practiced to always be in the NOW – and that was a GREAT help for me. Because that way I learned NOT to be stuck with ALL the no’s, but instead be able to ask the same question to “The Next” like it was the first time I ever asked that question. THAT helped me a lot. Thank’s for this awesome article Bob 🙂
Great perspective on an AWESOME book. One of the many things I got from having read that book – thanks to your recommendation a while back – is that if it takes on average 10 calls to get the 3 yesses you seek then don’t stop at 7 no’s keep going until you get ten no’s. It’s a very enlightening book and your post adds great perspective – as always. Thanks.
Doug: And, I’m glad it turned into a post for you. You wrote another great one. Very true on both accounts! (And, finally the knitters will get some credit for the danger they continually put themselves in.) 🙂
Lene: Thank you. I really enjoyed your excellent reframe, and the specific advice you provided for doing so. Terrific!
Bill: I appreciate that. Thank you. Great point about “go”-ing for those extra “no’s”.
Everyone gets a certain amount of no’s and yes’s, I’ve never let the no’s bother me that much because when I here a no, I’m that much closer to a yes.
John: Excellent attitude! Thank you for sharing with us!
I learn more from “No” than I do from Yes. I love this quote from Gandhi that illustrates why
“A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.”
There is nothing more fulfilling then learning from a “NO”, adjusting, then turning that experience into 10 people saying “Yes”.
Christopher. Terrific! Huge wisdom, both from Gandhi…and from you! Thank you for sharing with us.
Reading the comments I must say you are all very brave, congratulations !. Wish I could say the same for myself. Alas ! my stomach starts to quiver and I live in the “NOw” then I tear myself to bits
” rejected “
Adelinde: I think most of us have been there at one time or another. I kNOw I have. :-). That’s why I believe it’s so important to deal with the concept of “no” head on, understanding that it’s a fact of life, it really *isn’t* anything personal (even though it can still feel “yucky”) and that, if we’re going to be successful we’re going to need to work through a lot of them along them way. That’s one reason why I believe it can be strengthening to understand that it happens not only to us individually but that we all had to (and still have to) go through it. If you get an opportunity to check out Richard and Andrea’s book “Go for No” (mentioned in the post) that might really provide you with a new look at the word and great strength to help you handle it more productively. Best wishes for great success. Let us know your progress!