Sometimes “no” means “yes.” Don’t give up too soon!

There’s often a big difference between siblings, even those close in age growing up in exactly the same environment. That was certainly the case between my brother and I. He was the kind of kid that would ask for something and not take “no” for an answer–even when threatened with punishment. I, on the other hand, would take rejection or refusal at face value and move on. I have that same tendency today and I know it’s not the right way to approach life–or building business.

The point was driven home to me recently when catching up on some reading. An article in Harvard Business Review, “Need Someone’s Help? Ask the Person Who Just Turned You Down,”┬áby Daniel A. Newark, present some compelling information to suggest that, rather than giving up, it can pay off to ask again.

I believe this same principle may apply when marketing professional services. In fact, I attended a conference with a couple of clients this summer where one woman presented a personal case example of how she won a significant business contract after receiving more than a dozen “no’s.” Wow!

As I’ve already indicated, the odds are pretty slim that I would keep coming back after receiving a number of rejections. Even one. But the piece definitely provides some “food for thought.”

What do you think? How comfortable are you going back to a prospect or customer/client that has said “no”? Have you had success in this area?


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