How do you determine what means “no” for a prospective client? Like if they don’t return calls on the first attempt?

Patrick Meister ‏@bhawks4life: how do you determine what means “no” for a prospective client? Like if they don’t return calls on the first attempt?

ANSWER:

I probably have gotten 1000 Nos in my life. Maybe more. I am Dr. No. I am an expert on receiving and occasionally giving “No”s. So fortunately for you you’ve come to the right person. No matter what the situation is. Girlfriend. Client. Buyer of your business. Buyer of your house. Someone you want to have coffee with. You’ve come to the right man.

First off, if they don’t return your calls. It means “No”. Let’s be clear. You’v’e been rejected. But there are “No”s and there are “No”s. They are all different. Nos can become Yes very easily.

One time in 1998 I didn’t return the call from a stockbroker I had met recently. I didn’t know what he wanted. I didn’t return the call. He called once a week and was persistent. Not in a mean way. In a nice way. He was touching base. He would send me emails keeping me updated on news in my industry that I might not have been aware of. His name became more and more familiar to me because of these updates. Finally, about three months later I returned his call to hear what he had to say.

Three months after that he brokered the deal that allowed me to sell my first business and for that I am very grateful.

The key is “soft persistence”. Send a monthly update on how things are going. Every few months call again. Be like water dripping on rock. Eventually the rock withers away. If you try to be a hammer on the rock you are left with a mess and nothing will happen. Be water. Relax, have a cool glass of some.

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