Taking No for an Answer and other Business Mistakes

It always cracks me up when someone repeatedly peppers me with a product/service/idea and hits me with the refrain “i won’t take no for an answer” or “would you take no for an answer ?”.  Let me answer that question for you right now.

Hell Yes I take no for an answer. I try to sell good products and services and to have ideas that I hope will be successful. If I am selling any of these to someone and they say no, I will always ask for their objections with something like ” Thank you for taking the time to listen/read. Would you mind sharing with me what you didnt like about the product or why you like the product you chose ? “.  And if I have a good counter to their objection(s), I will let it fly and see what happens.

If they still respond negatively to my efforts. So be it.  At some point, and that point should come quickly, you have to move on.  If you have a good product/service/idea, there will be someone who will understand the value and that will want the product.  If you keep on pushing with someone who obviously does not want the product, for whatever reason you are making multiple mistakes:

1. You are wasting your and the prospects time.  Wasting your time means you are not selling to the next prospect . Always remember what I tell myself :”Every no gets me closer to a yes”.  You have to move on and start communicating with someone you know might buy your product rather than wasting more time with someone you already know won’t buy your product/service/idea

2. The more you push someone who has said no, the more likely you are to appear desperate, and that desperation impacts you brand as a salesperson and the brand of the product.  Just because it worked for Bud Fox doesn’t mean it will work for you. That was a movie.

3. It’s also a sign of fear and laziness. It takes work to find qualified prospects. It also takes courage to overcome the fear of not knowing what will happen next. It is very, very easy to send someone an email every hour or daily.  That is what  a lazy person is going to do.  Spend all of two seconds hitting the resend button. A smart, focused and successful salesperson will gear up and do the homework necessary to find their next customer. That is a sign of confidence . Knowing that you believe so much in what you do, that it is going to be fun and exciting to find your next customer and show off with how amazing your products/service/idea is. If the last person didn’t get it. That is their problem. Not yours.

That is what successful business people do. What do you do ?

and of course dont forget Shark Tank every friday on ABC 8/7pm… to see all of this in action !

35 thoughts on “Taking No for an Answer and other Business Mistakes

  1. With some you have to say “No!” and be ready for a fight. Otherwise, they’ll think you’re soft or a pushover.

    Comment by darryl3 -

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  3. @dbenichou I had the same problem about a week ago. Initially I got a send it to us response in three hours and then nothing…..ever. I have frequently supported this organization with thousands of dollars in season ticket purchases. I never got a NO or Advice on my technology. So I moved on! I know what I have, I know what it will do. If they don’t see what you really have..some one else WILL! It took one day after I gave up trying to get some input back. I was pissed they couldn’t see what was one the table. My life story is tell me you doubt my abilities and then watch me study, investigate, and practice to become better at it then any one in the world…I have done it many times in my athletic & professional careers. It actually lit a big fire in me that spurred me into the proper actions I needed to take to get what I have to the right people. I could be happier but still miffed about ZERO response from an industry leader. Oh well their loss!

    Comment by DOT TV MEDIA SERVICES -

  4. Hey Mark,

    Quick Question…

    What to do when someone gives you the run around? I have been pitching sales for big real estate developers in New York. They wont say no but they wont say yes…

    Comment by dbenichou -

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  6. nice article….very helpfull and usefull…

    Comment by fikrisu -

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  8. We were just turned down for the 2nd time to present at a venture forum. I finally tracked down a committee member who gave me 10 minutes of invaluable feedback – so glad she answered her phone! Insanity – doing the same thing . . . yadda yadda. Its hard for me to respect the no.

    Comment by carissarosebrown -

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  10. Sound advice. Always nice to get free battle plans from someone who has spent 25 years perfecting them. Good luck in all you do Mark.
    — The Warrior

    Comment by txwarrior -

  11. Thank you Mark for this uplifting note. I had just gone through my first VC meeting ever today in my life, let’s just say it wasn’t what I was hoping for. After reading this, now more than ever, after learning so much from that meeting, Im fully recharged, resilient, hungry and ready to go open another line of communication with another VC. But the biggest problem im having so far is that there is not too many VCs here in uptown dallas. My plan right now is to make some contacts either in Austin or the Bay area. What are your thoughts on that?

    Comment by crjvice -

  12. I guess that makes you Gordon Gekko then? LOL see you at the top Mark! You are have motivated me more than ever to pull my diaper off and slay some dragons! TY I’m honored I get a blog post 🙂

    Comment by DOT TV MEDIA SERVICES -

  13. Well Mark, this was the very first blog of yours that I have ever read and it hit me right between the eyes.

    After more than 30 years of creating and running my own businesses I have fallen into every trap that you mentioned in your writing today.

    My new venture is heavily dependent on the Internet and more directly the “mobile” web so I have mistakenly put an unreasonable degree of reliance on email contact vs actually talking with my prospective clients. Jotting off emails has given me the false belief that I am making progress. WOW…

    More so, my new product is sooooooo essential to the future of nonprofit fundraising that everybody MUST want it.. Right?
    I can’t allow someone to say NO! It’s too important. So I keep pushing… Oh man.

    I’m kicking my own butt here. So is my wife. I mean she’s kicking mine.

    All I can say is THANK YOU.
    Please let me know how to correspond with you.

    Comment by atomicdog7 -

  14. Hey Mark. I’m trying to find someone /company that I can (confidentiality) pitch my concept to. They need to have expertise in satellite/GPS/aviation/computers. Any help will be very much appreciated. Thank you for your time.

    Comment by gulfstreamdream -

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  18. Hey there Mark,

    I respect your opinion greatly. If you want to be successful, then surround yourself with Successful people. I believe the same is true when seeking or gaining advice from someone. You Mark are very successful therefore respected. I have done sales and marketing most of my Life and I am always learning. The person that thinks they know everything is a Fool indeed.

    I do have a few questions for you. First, has this person(s) you speak of received a direct No from you brought to their knowledge? Or has the no been via a non response indicating a no?

    Also in sales I have been taught it take a few no s before you may get a yes. The logic here being is maybe the prospect was having a bad day or was contacted at the wrong time. Maybe the prospect is so busy they forgot who and what you are. Did the salesman isolate and overcome the objection?

    #1. (of your statement) I agree with what you said. Me personally, I have been to over 18 different type investor people on a different project. It was TV entertainment pitch and a hard sell. After going through the list of contacts I had and met with, I started going through the Actress’s contacts she had Hollywood producers etc. My question to you is… Once you run out of people you know to contact, what is the next step? What are the number of No’s before getting a yes?

    #2 (of your statement) I agree with you.. If a person overcomes objections and finds solutions and goes for the close again, is that considered being pushy? Sometimes it’s not what you say but how someone says it.. So If the person is being respectful too the prospect, do you consider this wrong?

    #3 I 100% agree with you about the e-mails… From a salesman/marketing POV the sender most always will get a NO if a response at all.. We (I) have been taught to get the decision maker on the phone. Don’t leave messages with Assistants. Obtain the president and/or CEO’s direct phone number or cell Number. There is an art to achieving this and is possible to do. Also very hard. With that said, would you be more prone to listen to the “Pitch” if you were to answer the phone and it was done correctly? Logic behind this is that it would show you the person contacting you did their research and therefore would be allowed a few minutes of your time. From a business man’s stand point, what attracts your attention the most for a spark of interest to occur with you? You may e-mail me at Ricker115@yahoo.com if you feel better about answering there.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this and comment back.

    “Success is the key, You are the key-maker”

    Comment by Ricker -

  19. I came across this at the end of a very stressful, disappointing day! (check out my blog for details) End of month, end of quarter, and end of my rope! Great advice that I’ve heard dozens of times, but MUCH better put! Thanks!

    Comment by txchevygirl -

  20. Mark,

    So is this your way of saying you didn’t like my idea of using obese american children running on large hamster wheels (acres and acres of these, sorta like a windmill farm) as an alternative green energy source, and as a side effect these children lose weight? No? Oh well. What about wringing out the basketball court sweat mops and recycling the sweat to use as…(and the phone is hung up on me).

    Comment by therugelachman -

    • those are far better than 90 pct of the pitches i get… Just think, we wouldnt need nuclear power with all those little kids running in hamster wheels. Sounds like a horror flick produced by The Onion “:

      Comment by markcuban -

  21. I’m waiting for someone to come forward and claim you are talking about them, and then proceed to give an explanation, ad nauseam, about how they have been misunderstood.

    Comment by alexlogic -

  22. To me, NO, really means not right now for short. I have converted many NO’s into great sales. Heck, my wife told me no the first 5 times I asked her out. Good thing I was persistent.

    Comment by dowelltaggart -

  23. Thanks, Mark. I’ve never thought about it like this.

    Very helpful to learn to move on and not get stuck on someone saying no.

    Good luck this playoff season with the Mavs!

    Comment by josephwesley -

  24. Great article, Mark. I think the secret in bus dev is just like sales. “Win fast; and lose faster…”

    Comment by jabrewer3 -

  25. haha, that’s awesome!! i like your article, great job, solid advice

    Comment by Isaac Ewing -

  26. Back in the day, a Professor told me he stood at the exit of a bar near closing time and asked every woman that he was attracted to if she wanted to F✭✭✭. He got slapped a few times, but, laid often.

    Same product, same pitch, different results.

    Comment by originaldocumentcorporation -

  27. “No” gives me the information I need and saves both of our time. I would respect and appreciate it. Use the time you save to improve the product.

    Comment by Openivo -

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  29. “Every no gets me closer to a yes”… In business maybe, but not true when it comes to women…

    Comment by dmuncy -

  30. @Adam, Chris Brogan believes that you can’t really do it wrong, however, you may need to do it differently.

    Comment by Matches Malone -

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  32. Well, first, I watched you on Shark Tank. Then, As Lloyd Kaufman suggests, I made my own D**M Movie. Which screens at The Alex Theatre in Glendale this Saturday, as Part of the 168 Film Festival. Hope to see you there.

    Comment by Matches Malone -

  33. But do you take the first “yes” you get?

    Comment by TestShoot -

  34. Makes sense. People need to realize this when getting involved with network marketing businesses. If you feel you are bugging someone, you are doing it wrong.

    Comment by Adam Blue -

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