As a salesperson, there’s no word you like better than the word “yes.”  “Yes, I’d like to sign up for your newsletter,” or “Yes, I want a subscription to your service” are what a salesperson lives for.  But getting to “yes” can be a painstaking process involving multiple conversations and a lot of persistence.  There are often a lot of “no’s” before the “yes” – which is typical, but it’s knowing how to handle those “no’s” that gets you to the “yes.”

Convincing someone to say yes is an art form.  It’s not the same as tricking them into something or strong-arming them with forceful tactics.  The “yes” should come naturally, but unless you’re giving away a free car, it’s usually only possible with a little coaxing.  The following strategies are both ethical and effective for getting a potential client to say “yes.”  Consider this your cheat sheet for getting what you want.


Acknowledge Their Control

A big reason that people say “no” is because they are sensing they’re being pressed to do something.  They may feel that they don’t have enough information to make a decision, so rather than say “yes” and later regret it, they default to “no.”  You can circumvent the wall they put up by letting them know they are free to do what they want.  Simply stating your request, but acknowledging that the decision is ultimately theirs to make, can put them more at ease and clear their mind.  Using this method, it’s 50 percent more likely that the person will come around and say “yes.”  An example in a client scenario would be telling them, “This is a great offer to join the rewards club, and you’re invited to become a member at this special rate.”  There’s really no wrong way to phrase your statement; just make it clear you accept that the decision-making is in their power.


Aim Lower To Soar Higher

The first sales pitch isn’t always successful – which is why persistence is so important in the sales field.  If you don’t get any bites with your initial offer, make the request again but make it less demanding and more favorable to the other person.  Say you first want someone to subscribe to a weekly workout video series online for $50 per month.  If that’s too much for them, the next time you talk to them, you can ask for $35.  You could even throw in a free e-book on weight loss – doing something as a favor or special treatment to them will make it more likely for them to go from “no” to “yes.”  If you show that you’re flexible and are willing to work for their business, they’ll be more willing to concede.  A twist on this method is to initially ask for much higher than you actually expect.  Offering them the subscription for $75 on the first go-around, and then dropping it to $50, will get you in the price range you really want.


Peer Pressure Still Works

There’s truth to the observation that we never really leave high school: peer pressure is still effective well into adulthood.  It’s a well-known fact in the sales field that customers are more likely to buy something that they think other people like them are buying.  You can incorporate this subtle peer pressure truthfully by telling stories about satisfied customers in your target audience.  When giving a webinar or online presentation about your product or service, be sure to include testimonials about how people have loved your product or service, and include colorful images that your target audience can relate to (people smiling using the workout videos you sell, for example).  Knowing that everyone else is saying “yes” might make them feel left out, and make them more likely to convert to a “yes.”


Say “Yes” To Ethical Tactics

Being ethical with your sales tactics makes you credible in the eyes of your potential customers.  Most people get suspicious when they’re being sold something and have their senses on alert.  It’s unlikely you can fool them with a lie or bully them into a “yes.”  Even if you succeed in deceiving them by promising more than you can deliver or outright lying, they’re likely to find out eventually – and then they won’t be back.  Selling is about more than making a sale – it’s also about building relationships.  Be trustworthy, and you will make customers for life.

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Posted by Agnes Jozwiak

Agnes is the Brand & Communication Director at ClickMeeting.

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