June 12, 2011

Appreciation Marketing – What Does “No” Mean?

Appreciation Marketing means that you show appreciation for everyone, whether they are your current clients, your prospects, or your other relationships.  How does Appreciation Marketing relate if your prospect tells you “No” when you attempt to add them to your client list.

Of course, whenever we discuss our products or services with our prospects, we try to “close” the sale with them.  If we have done our job as well as we should, we have covered, and answered, all the objections that the prospect could raise.  Usually, the best approach is to go directly at the objective before the prospect raises the issue.

There are many resources for sales persons to reference that will teach closing, and pre-closing, techniques.  They will not be covered here other than to say that you should look at several of them, try as many as you wish, but rehearse them so that they are second nature to you.  There is nothing worse than someone who is not prepared with information about their offering or about their prospect.

Correction; there is something worse that that.  It is someone who is not prepared, who just wants the sale, and who doesn’t really care about the relationship with the client, or about their clients themselves.  Prospects do business with people that they know, like, and trust.  You must establish yourself as someone who genuinely cares about the prospect, establishes a relationship with them, whether they become a client or not, and will continue the relationship after the sales call.

People who establish relationships with others do more than sell to their clients; they have a relationship that promotes referrals, the sharing of ideas, and assisting each other towards mutual success in their business and personal lives.  Others just want the sale, spending as little time and effort as possible so they can go after the next prospect.  Who do you want to do business with if you were the prospect, which you are each and every day?

Appreciation Marketing is treating others as you want to be treated.  How do you feel when someone attempts a “hard sell” on you, not learning anything about you first, or attempting to sell you with “smoke and mirrors”?  Seriously, is that how you want to be treated?  Would you rather be a “client” or just a “customer”, or even worse, just a “sale”?

Sales people who establish relationships with their prospects have a genuine interest in their prospects’ success, their problems, and their lives.  They care about the relationship and what it can mean for both of them.  Relationships are two way streets, providing something for both parties, with ebb and flow over time.

What about the prospect who does not say “Yes” when you attempt to close the sale?  What about the relationship when the prospect does not agree that you have exactly what they need or want?  Maybe the time is not right; maybe the prospect is not comfortable even though you did all that you should have done in your sales technique.

In this case, make the process a learning experience for you; make it a “practice” for a successful sales call later with another prospect.  Perhaps your relationship is so comfortable with the prospect that you could ask them why they didn’t let you close the sale.  After all, they are the one who should know.  The relationship must be such that it will continue to flourish and benefit both parties.

Previously, I thought “Next” when I lost a sale; now, I think “Later”.  Each and every opportunity for a sale must be the best time for both parties.  If the prospect doesn’t let me close the sale now, I believe that as the relationship progresses, the time will be “right” in the future.  Then my partner in the relationship will remember my appreciation and patience.

If you would like to leave a comment, please do so.  If you want to know more, email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com or even better, call me at 360-314-8691.  I answer my phone, or return messages, and respond to emails.


  1. Nicely stated, Jim. There are many reasons why people do, or don't do, things, and just as many techniques to attempt to overcome the objections. Sometimes we learn the real reason, but often times we don't, and it may be none of our business. Responding positively and respectfully to that "no" will keep the door open for "later".

    One suggestion: Instead of looking at it as treating others as you wish to be treated, how about treating them as they wish to be treated? It is about them, not you, especially when it comes to sales ... what are they looking for vs. what do you wish to provide? Include the concept of appreciation marketing, by all means, but by switching up your focus, you may change your perspective and see something you've missed.

  2. I agree - timing is everything. If the time is not right they will not buy - no matter what you have done. I have had clients return several years after an initial conversation to buy - they needed that time to get to the buying place. My "Nexts" are always "Laters" now.