Value NO… Know It’s Value!

This is a guest post by Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz. We got talking because of our NO Calculator, it resonated well with the mindset that Richard and Andrea promote, and vice versa.

Many salespeople spend their days doing everything they can to avoid having people say ‘no’ to them.

620 Nos per month

This makes sense since we’ve all been taught that in sales, you are going for a YES, not a NO. As a result, many salespeople come to view ‘no’ as a failure and as the end of the process. However, great salespeople know that selling is a ‘numbers game.’ The more people you talk to the greater your chances for success. Here are 3 things to keep in mind when it comes to valuing NO:

Understand that “failure” is part of the process

Most people operate with the following mental model: they see themselves in the middle, with success on one end and failure on the other. They do everything they can to move toward success and away from failure. What if, rather than seeing failure as something to be avoided it became a “stepping-stone” on the path to success? In other words: Success is the destination. Failure is how you get there. To achieve significant success in today’s world, failure is not just a possibility…it is a requirement.

Intentionally increase your failure rate

If it’s true that the more we fail, the more we succeed (and it is), then the immediate goal should be to intentionally increase your failure rate! Yes, this is a counter-intuitive, reverse thinking philosophy… but it works! Intentionally increasing failure is the basis for the "Go for No" concept. "Go for No" means the more people that tell you "no" the closer you will get to ultimate success - or in other words, "yes." For some salespeople, if they actually counted the number of times they hear “no” during a typical day or week (which we recommend they do) would be shocked to see how low the number actually is.

Set “No” goals

Everyone sets success goals; few people set “no” goals. And that is what we suggest. But how about setting goals for the number of times we fail? For example, rather than a salesperson setting the goal of having 2 prospects say “yes” to them, they set the goal of being turned down (hearing “no”) 10 times. Imagine the first two prospects they called on said, “Yes!” Rather than being done (having hit their “yes” goal) they’d actually be behind because they still have 10 noes to go!

Therefore, instead of avoiding ‘no’ salespeople should learn to view ‘no’ in a totally new light and start to value it. Once you can value ‘no’ you open yourself up to results that you might not have expected.

Richard Fenton & Andrea Waltz are the authors of “Go for No!" Yes is the Destination, No is How You Get There, a short powerful story written specifically for sales professionals in every industry who must learn to harness the power of no to be successful.  To learn more, visit