4 Reasons you Should Love Hearing “No”

No matter what your goal in life is, you’ll likely hear “no” many times before you achieve those goals and that is a good thing. Just accept that as a fact. Understand that by refusing to accept that “no”, you’ll separate yourself from the pack. Many things in life are a game of attrition and many people quit so close to their goal.  Below are 5 reasons I believe every high performer should love hearing “NO”.
You can achieve virtually anything you want if you’re willing to hear ‘no’ often enough.

Most people will do anything and everything to get a yes and avoid hearing no but that leads to a life of mediocrity in the comfort zone. The comfort zone is where no risks are taken, decisions are made toward outcomes that are predetermined and pain is minimized along with happiness.  If you’re hearing no enough, you’re not giving yourself the opportunity to be successful you’re just reducing the pain of no. You are on one side of your goal and the no’s are the stepping-stones that get you to the yes that releases your goals.  It’s not always easy to be happy about hearing no but keeping a proper perspective on what that no means can help you learn to love or at least tolerate being turned down.

1. Celebrate Every No.

Since you were a child, yes has made you happy and no made you unhappy, depending on the question but as grown-ups’ things are not that simple. Hearing only Yes would make no irrelevant and vis-versa.  By receiving no positively, you can see the value in it, celebrate it, and have fun.  For most people accepting no as a reason to party can be a challenge, but at least it should be emotionally neutral.  You can learn from a no; you can evolve and pivot to get closer to a yes.  Getting a yes is usually a goal fulfillment and very little is learned. 

In fact, I would suggest setting goals for how many no’s you can accumulate, rather than the usual goals for sales, or yeses. As a young professional in a sales job dialing for dollars, I would keep track of how many “no” I could get in a day.  Since Yes was far rarer it was fun to see how many no responses, I would get on my most lucrative sales days and then figure out how many no-responses it took to get there. I felt it took away the stigma people put on themselves about rejection and makes it a more fun, stress-free process. 

2. No Does Not Mean Never.

No means not yet, for most people, it’s a timing issue or a current needs analysis.  It’s important to follow up with contacts after you’ve got a no, just as it is if you’ve gotten no response at all. Don’t let those opportunities die, that means being persistent within reasonable bounds. If they said no already what is the worst thing they could say now, no again. 

What do I mean by reason and how can you tell when you’re being reasonable? It’s a gut feeling, but most people give up too soon because of a fear of being too pushy.  When people don’t hear back from someone they assume it’s a no. People have a fear of looking pushy or aggressive and to avoid being perceived that way, they may not go back one time, let alone two or three times. Following up if you get no response is essential because almost everyone else has already quit. It’s important not to make decisions for people about what they’re willing to do or to spend because asking for one more time is free. 

3. A Good NO is Better Than a Bad Yes.

Based on how people receive a no, some people are afraid to say no because it makes them uncomfortable to disappoint the recipient so they avoid contacting them and telling them anything.  If you embrace the concept that a No is not particularly bad news you can articulate that to customers to remove the burden for them of saying no and open the door to more feedback on why it’s no now and when that might change.  

You build repose because you give the customer or client freedom to answer the way they need to and be transparent about their reasons. The reasons they provide give you context to follow up and insights into how you can get to yes in the future by being solution focused.

4. Every no is a chance to learn.

No is a perfectly acceptable answer, but not necessarily the end of the conversation, it could be an invitation to understand more about the situation. Why was it no? It’s important to find out as quickly–and casually–as possible what the no had to do with it.

Sometimes it might arise from some misunderstanding that you need to clear up, for instance, if the customer thinks an item will be more expensive than it really will. Other times, the no will be final, but you may learn something, such as that you need to adjust your product or pricing or pitch or target a different type of customer. It’s important to obtain this information. Within every, no is the information needed to move forward.