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The difference between “no” and “not yet”

The difference between “no” and “not yet”

“Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is Rare.” 

A line taken from the brilliant book by Angela Duckworth; GRIT, The Power of Passion and Perseverance goes some way in describing what’s required for success in high performance sales.

On a more local level, I was first introduced to the phrase, “No, just means not yet.” in the fast-paced environment of the automotive sector, on the showroom floor of one of the leading independent motor retailers in the UK.

It wasn’t said as a badge of honour or a motivational tip but as a reminder of that inherent characteristic of a highly skilled sales person.

That said, a very thin line separates acceptable and unacceptable when it comes to persistence – not just in car sales, but in any kind of selling where interpersonal relationships are important.

The paradox is, that from the customers’ perspective, persistence is a big turn off yet from the side of the seller, lack of persistence can result in failure.
When you are trying to achieve high performance sales, persistence simply means, “not giving up” and most people tend to give up just when they are so close to success.

Some tips, maybe…?

Be organised and prepared.

It is easy to become fixated on the outcome of a sales pitch or a proposal but by simply being organised and having more customers to call, either as cold calls or as existing prospects, then the focus shifts quickly onto other opportunities.

If you are organised and have created good “selling time” through time management and preparation, then you can easily distract yourself.

Earn the right.

Very few sales are closed out after one meeting, as the picture suggests, yet most sales people try way too hard to get the sale over the line – better to focus on “earning the right” to meet with the customer again and again or for however long it takes.

EQ over IQ.

Understanding the world view from the eyes of the customer is critical and with a better understanding of a prospects motivation, interests and needs the seller can better adjust to the long haul.

Process over Destination.

“Sales” is often described as a numbers game. I don’t dispute that at all and would go as far as to say that it’s a “numbers of quality”
Spending more time trying to fine tune the sales process from lead generation, prospecting, messaging, to pipeline management and beyond will ensure that the numbers are good, and if the numbers are good…

Staying motivated in the sales game isn’t easy and whether you perform as part of a wider team or as an individual, the challenge is to find the right process and to stick with it and become a slave to it.



Shift Control is a business growth consultancy based in Belfast and specialising in sales strategy, marketing communications and brand development. Follow us on Twitter @shiftcontrol66


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