When No Means Yes
“Properly practiced creativity MUST result in greater sales more economically achieved. Properly practiced creativity can lift your claims out of the swamp of sameness and make them accepted, believed, persuasive, urgent.” William Bernbach advertising executive, 1911-1982)
I’ll admit it. Sometimes I like to be tricky. I love to play with language. I love to wordsmith. I love to set harmless little linguistic traps and pitfalls for fun and profit.
One of my favorite strategies in this respect is when no really means yes. And this works especially well when closing the deal.
An example of this is: “Is there anything else you need to know in order to go ahead?”
Let’s say that you were sold on something, you felt absolutely ready to go ahead and buy it, you had a need for it, you had the money for it, and the person asks you, “Is there anything else you need to know in order to go ahead?”
This question is designed to elicit a no, but in this case, the no means yes (i.e. yes to the purchase of the product or service). So you’re ready to go and the sales person says, “Is there anything else you need to know in order to go ahead?” And your response is no.
So what’s the power of that? Well, the power is that everybody wants to say no. It’s human nature to want to say no to a sales person, so here you get to say no but where no actually means yes. It’s relatively simple. You can memorize that one line if you want to, and that’s one of the best ways I’ve ever found to ask.
Now what happens if the person says, yes, that in fact there is something they need to know before they move forward. Well, that’s not really a problem. You’re still in front of them (or on the phone) and you can give them the information that they need, as opposed to having questions later when you’re not in front of them to answer their questions.
It’s a really wonderful closing question, actually one of the finest in my opinion. It’s very simple, very elegant, and very easy. It’s gentle, it’s unobtrusive, it’s effective, it’s strategic, and it leaves you in a good position if the person waffles in some way.
I think that’s a really important question that you should learn to ask. And you need to ask it when you notice that the person is really sold. If you ask it before they’re really sold, you’ll get objections. If you ask it too late, in essence, you’ll look like you’re not paying attention. So you need to really watch closely if you’re going to use this kind of a question.
Until Next Time,