Thank You for Not Buying

Thank You for Not Buying


When I started my business life, one of the toughest moments was asking the client if he was willing to buy or not. There were times when I was so scared of what he would say that I did not ask. Later I found out they had bought from another competitor – who had dared to ask if they wanted to buy.

There are innumerable closing questions and techniques to close the deal. But all of them require you to talk to your client and be prepared for his “yes” or “no” answer to your pitch

Since we are human beings, we don’t want to be rejected. For most people a “no” from a client is seen as a rejection. So we avoid being hurt and wait for the client to call us and say “yes, I want to buy.”

Unfortunately this approach is jeopardising your success. You have to ask your client – because he is expecting it!

Therefore you need to overcome your fear of rejection. Believe it or not, there is a way to not only overcome your fear, but learn to appreciate a “no” from you client as beneficial in other ways – every “no” is taking you closer to your next deal.

Here’s how you can perfect this method:

1. Regard each “no” as temporary

Just because a client doesn’t buy today, doesn’t mean he won’t buy tomorrow or next year. In fact, for me a “no” is the starting point for my “keep in touch” programme to keep track of what he is doing.

In many cases the client either buys from another supplier, something completely different or nothing at all. No matter what he is doing, I stay in touch with them. Maybe they run into problems and need help or some kind of advice. I will be there when they need me. I send them interesting news articles or success stories from my own clients.

This behaviour shows your client that you’re not just there for the quick sale. You are there and to take care of them. This builds trust and in the end they will call you the next time they need your product or service. That’s what sales is all about.

Sales is not a 100m sprint, it’s a marathon. Your persistence will pay off eventually.

2. Each “no” is a chance to improve your service or product

If the client buys from a competitor, you have to become an investigator to identify the reasons for his choice.

Always tell your client that you’re thriving to improve your service and products and you really want to know why he chose another supplier. Don’t get fooled by the “they were cheaper” answer. In most cases, this is just a part of the truth.

Make it clear: you’re not looking for excuses from your client – you’re looking for blind spots in your offering and only he can show them to you. Ask for his help.

Listen carefully, find a solution for sales stoppers and get back to your client later on. Tell him: “Thank you for your support. We did listen to you and now we can offer a much better solution. We know you already have a supplier, but in case you want to have an alternative or second supplier – we can now deliver.”

This is quite impressive for clients, since they are not used to companies who really care and listen to what they are saying.

3. Calculate the Rand value of each “no”

You ask: “How can a “no” have a real value and how can I relate it to real money?”

That was my reaction as well when I came across this idea for the first time. Then I got behind the meaning of it and was impressed. It’s an easy method and it makes each customer have a great experience. Most important: It takes away the fear of asking a closing question!

Let’s assume:

  • You’re selling a product for R10 000
  • On average every 20th client you’re talking to becomes a buying customer.

This means that every “no” is valued at R500, because R10 000 / 20  =  R500.

The next time a potential client tells you “no” you know that you just made another R500. It’s all about your mindset. Keep going, collecting more “nos” until you close the next deal. It’s just that easy.

Now check your own sales history to get the yes/no ratio and calculate the value. And in the future, whenever you’re trying to close the deal, you don’t have to be scared of a “no” answer.

Axel Rittershaus
Axel Rittershaus is an internationally renowned C-Level / Executive Coach & Author who started as an entrepreneur in the IT industry in 1993. He knows that success is the result of hard work and determination even more than innate talent. A master of maintaining focus and follow-through, Axel supports C-Level leaders globally in achieving goals. Axel is dedicated and passionate to see clients succeed beyond their expectations. Axel is also the president of the International Coach Federation South Africa and a multiple Two Oceans and Comrades finisher. You can follow him on twitter.