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Why saying no to salespeople can benefit you

by | Oct 17, 2023

Whether you’re a sole trader who occasionally throws your selling hat on to generate new business, or you have a team of seasoned pros who speak of sales funnels and prospects, the fact is sales and selling is a necessary function for any business. And for those who don’t have the resources for a dedicated squadron of sales sharks, it’s a process that can take up a lot of time, with limited success. Which is why, as Bridge MD Hayley Shave explains, you should learn the art of saying no to salespeople.

One thing is for sure, if you run a business, you’ve probably made a sales pitch to someone, and as sure as the sun rises every day, you’ll have had sales pitches made to you.

It’s a time-consuming process for all involved, and one that doesn’t have a great success rate. Even a skilled rep will admit that only around 10-15% of leads result in a sale.

What if you don’t have a dedicated sales team to hand?

Of course, not everyone is a smooth, body-language reading sales pro, capable of sensing the signals and deepest desires of unwitting decision makers across a crowded room.

For amateur salespeople, who are juggling the hunt for new business with all the other tasks required to keep their operation afloat, the search for prospects can often become a great way to lose hours or even days.

Which is why I’ve learned to say no

People try and sell me things all the time. Sometimes, if it’s a thing I want, then the conversation develops. But most of the time, as soon as I recognise that what is being offered isn’t right for my business, I wait for a gap in the conversation, and offer a polite no.

Nothing bad happens when you say no. Bridges aren’t going to erupt into flame.

All those gentle nos saves me time, but they also save the salesperson time, too. Time we both, as business people, desperately need more of. They can then focus their efforts on the next prospect, who might be looking for exactly what is on offer.

I’ve pitched business ideas to people, and I always appreciate a no thanks. It lets me know that right now, I’m better off focussing my energy elsewhere.

The real problem, I’ve found, is when people don’t want to say no, perhaps out of politeness, or perhaps simple curiosity. They might agree to a meeting, ask for more information, or generally engage in email exchanges that ultimately go nowhere.

The end result? Several hours of wasted effort for both parties.

No is better. And if we all say it more, we all get more time.

Can we agree to say yes to that?

If you want to say yes to exploring the opportunities marketing can open up for your business, get in touch today.