You’ve Been Selling Since You Were A Kid!

You’ve Been Selling Since You Were A Kid!

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at

How many “no’s” are you willing to take before you give up the sale?

Remember when you were 7 years old, in line with your mother at the supermarket and asked, “Mom, can I have this candy bar?” That was a closing question if there ever was one.

“No,” she replies. You, the master salesman, ignore the first “no” and respond, “Please, can I have the candy bar.” Mom is a bit put off by now; with her mind preoccupied with the grocery tab says, “I said NO!” No number two is now safely out of the way, and you respond, “Aw, come on, PLEASE!”

Now the mommaprospect is emphatic. “Absolutely NO” she thunders no number three. (Sometimes she will actually spell it out NO.) Now number three is now out of the way, time to move in for the kill. Let’s try to find out what the objection is here. “Why can’t I have a candy bar, mom?” This is a classic example of a direct question going straight at the real reason for the first three “no’s”. How did you learn these sales skills so early in life?

“Because it’ll spoil your dinner,” she responds, true to form. Now is your big chance. Overcome this objection (the fourth putoff), and it’s in the bag (the grocery bag, that is). “No it won’t, mom, I promise to eat it AFTER dinner,” you reply in your most sincere tone.

She’s on the ropes now, about to cave in, but being the true sales reluctant prospect, she isn’t going to just cave in. “Well, I don’t know,” she weakly states the fifth negative response. You see your opening and immediately bellow, “PLEASE!” in that endearing kid mixture of song and whine. “OK,” she says, “But don’t you dare eat it until after dinner.”

VICTORY! You made the sale and it only took 5 no’s to get it. You were prepared to go at least 10. Possibly risk a hit or two on the butt, and in some cases actually throw a fit in public.

Somewhere between diapers and getting your business card printed,
we forget how tenacious we need to be to make that sale.

If you’re looking for the best examples of how to overcome the obstacles and objections to sales, just sit back and reminisce.:

  • the candy bar
  • the first date
  • staying out after curfew
  • getting the keys to the car
  • getting a raise in allowance
  • getting off punishment to go to the dance or getting a date…all sales.

All were full of no’s and objections.
But, did you hang in there against all odds?
Were you willing to risk?
Willing to accept corporal punishment?
Did you eventually make the sale?
I’ll bet your closing ratio was better than 90%.

How much money would you be making if your closing ratio was that high today? Forget candy bars, you’d have enough cash to buy the entire grocery store.

On average it takes seven impressions, no’s, or objections to get the sale. What’s the secret to getting to the seventh no? Persistence.

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