Vaccines work by giving you a little bit of the thing that will make you sick, but not so much that you die from the exposure. Your white blood cell army, as part of your immune system learns the nature of the invader, and sends out updates to all the other cells about how to defeat the threat. If the white blood cells communicate the risks fast enough, like a police description of a bank robber, then they will be able to out-number the pathogen and defeat it.
Think of the ‘no’ as a threat that you want to train your body to react differently to. You can consciously and safely expose yourself to ‘no’ and build up your immunity to them.
Take things slowly. Ask for simple things that you don’t care about so much. Choose scenarios for your training where the stakes are low and you’re effectively indifferent to a ‘yes’ or to a ‘no.’ The less you care about the answer, the less it will hurt.
Can I color your hair purple?
Would you like me to design you a personal logo right now?
Can I have your watch?
I like your shirt. Can I have it?
Will you trade me this empty can for something nicer?
Have you ever been to Alaska?
Can I come in and take a bath?
Do they have Naked Happy Hour here?
May I have your dog?
Can you take me to Philadelphia?
People will probably laugh. And you won’t die. See how many ‘no’s’ you can collect in a day.
What did you learn about how to structure a question so you are more likely to get a ‘yes’ instead of a ‘no’?
Do you feel your own expectations and outlook changing as more and more people surprise you with a ‘yes’?
Jia Jiang, author of "Rejection proof" was so afraid hearing ‘no’ that he made a game of it to practice hearing, and recovering from, a ‘no.’ He since made a website called RejectionTherapy.com and challenges other people to embrace the ‘no’.
Train yourself to be more direct, and expect that of others. Here are a few things that help other people be upfront with their intentions, and help you make sure you’re accurately hearing the signals they are sending out:
- Set agendas for meetings. Either send them ahead of time (ideal), or run through them as the first item of the meeting.
- Be clear and specific about asking “for a meeting to talk about buying the product”. Avoid vague terms like “have a chat” or “I’ll drop by”.
- Set specific times for meetings. “I’ll be around all day, come by any time” is not an appointment. Ask for 10am or 2:30. Be specific.
- Verify their understanding after you’ve been talking for a while: “tell me what you got out of all of that.”
- Go through the terms of deals. It’s ok to start with “I’d like to go through the terms of the deal.”
- Seek to understand what they are picking up on from you: “what do you understand about the trade-offs we just went through?”
- When I send a contract, I brief them on the elements they are getting in conversation, then again in writing.
- I ask them when we should expect a signature back.
Just like it is important for you to put your intentions out to your prospect, it is just as important to hear what your prospect is giving back in response to your directness. Not everyone is as comfortable as you are now with being direct. Even the most enlightened buyers having trouble being clear enough. If they are telling you ‘no’ or evading specific responses, they are giving you information.