You’ve met with a great lead and pitched your product or service, but all that’s coming back is a resounding “Thanks, but no thanks!” Ever heard that before? I have (many times), and if you are an active business developer, then you have heard this, too – and will continue to hear it probably more times than you would ever want.
A friend recently asked me how my approach to developing business can help with the “Thanks, but no thanks!” situation. Here’s what I told him based on my experience:
The first thing to do when prospects say “no” is to acknowledge something, namely that your job as a rainmaker begins when they say “no!” This is how most rainmakers think. They are not devastated. They don’t blame themselves or their prospects, and they certainly do not give up. If you can simply make the decision to think this way in the “Thanks, but no thanks” situation, then you will be on your way to truly becoming a rainmaker.
Your ability to reset your mind like this should be driven by your underlying passion for what you do, your commitment to the process of developing business and your confidence that you cannot only secure the prospect but can take care of that person far better than your competitor – all things that my approach to business development – Crux Rainmaking – espouses.
With your mind reset you can then move on to a practical approach to dealing with the “Thanks, but no thanks” situation:
1. Communicate your patience to the prospect immediately. Great clients and customers are worth the wait. The prospect will respect your understanding of the current situation, and this will immediately take the pressure off that individual to do something for you right away if they simply cannot do so.
2. Request the ability to stay in touch with that individual. It is rare that a person will say “No, never call me again, ever!” Most people will welcome periodic communications. If the individual is open to this (most people will be), then proceed to No. 3 below.
3. Work to develop a Unique Business Relationship (UBR) with that individual. A UBR is a relationship that is difficult, if not impossible, to replace. To develop a UBR with your prospect, you need to understand who they really are as a person, what makes them tick, what moves them. You can gain this understanding through your initial conversations with the individual, through independent research and through other people who may also know the prospect. As your relationship with the prospect becomes more and more unique, that individual will be more willing to give you a chance with their business. The scales start to tip over time from the existing vendor to you. But you must be patient. This does not happen overnight.
Bottom line: Acknowledge that your job begins when they say “no!” By properly resetting your mind to think consistent with the rainmaker’s brain, you can then proceed to building a UBR with an initially-reluctant prospect. Over time, you will gain a valuable advantage over your competitors.
About the Author
Joe Brocato is a business development thought leader, prominent attorney, CEO of Intense Coaching & Consulting Worldwide, and author of the forthcoming book CRUX RAINMAKING: 3 Steps To Exponential Business Development.