Why Can’t Prospects Just Say “No”?

Some prospects just can’t say “No”! The fact is that most prospects take to the middle ground of ‘thinking it over’ when they really want to say “NO”. The problem is that they don’t have the guts to tell you. This can drive you crazy if you don’t manage your expectations in advance, and know how to effectively deal with those prospects that just can’t say “No”.
I had a phone conversation with a sales prospect of mine today. We had met at a seminar I conducted earlier this week, and at the end of the seminar I passed around an application for my next Gold Call Club training class the following week. I told the audience as I passed out the applications that by filling out the application it meant that they were interested in paying the $250 to join the club. I went as far as to say that they shouldn’t feel any pressure to sign up, and that if they weren’t interested, by all means don’t fill out and return the application! Could I have been any more up front, and fair about it?

Once the seminar ended, several people came up to me and handed in their applications. All followed through and made their purchase on-line except one. After a couple of days I called him up on the phone and asked whether he had received my email. He told me that he hadn’t been on his computer in 2 days. “Uh Oh”! I said to myself, and from what I could gather from the tone of his voice, I started to get that sinking feeling that this guy is about to back out of the class.
 So… I reiterated what it was that I said to the seminar group two nights ago that there was no pressure to say “No”, and asked my prospect if I should cross his name off the class roster. That’s when he stalled by saying, “No, I just need to digest his stuff first”. Huh? After a 2 hour seminar, and answering all his questions following the seminar, now he needs to ‘eat’ and digest’ my course to figure out what he wants to do? Baloney!
 Why didn’t he just say “No”? After all, that’s what he wanted to say, or something to that effect. But no, this prospect just could not tell me the honest truth, and tell me “No”. He wanted to play games, and ‘Think it Over’ instead.

How many times have you had prospects avoid making a decision, even after you’ve laid out the ground rules, and given them permission to say “No” if they weren’t interested? Frustrating isn’t it? 
In my career I’ve had all sorts of ‘Think it Over Prospects’. Some are animals – They want to; “Bear it in mind”. Others are insomniacs, and have told me that they “want to sleep on it”. As for my prospect this week, he was on a diet, and wanted to “digest” my application. 
Despite my encouragement, my prospect refused to tell me “No”. Sure I could have gone on and on, wearing him down until he finally gave up and told me “NO”. But I just decided to let it go. Why get all worked up over a prospect that just wants to ‘pull my chain’?

I ended the call politely, but as I hung up the phone I crossed out his name on the application, and threw it in the trash wondering why he bothered to fill out the application in the first place.
 Some prospects just can’t say “No”. Instead they say things like “digest it”, “sleep on it”, “bear it in mind”, “noodle it over”, “maybe”, “possibly”, “perhaps”. Whenever I hear these little quips, I know it’s a “No”.  No sense in fooling myself that it means anything else…


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