Go For No is a unique sales book that tells you that the path to success is getting as many no’s as possible. The mark of progress is not avoiding failure or actually accomplishing your goals, but getting a no. The authors teach this strategy through a brief fictional story.
The turning point is when the protagonist, a salesman just getting by in life, learns an important lesson after selling a large amount of clothing to a customer:
“After the customer left, Harold, [my manager], finally sauntered over and said, ‘Nice sale kid.” My chest puffed out with pride. ‘Eleven hundred dollars!’ I proclaimed. But Harold just stood there and didn’t seem overly impressed. Finally he said, ‘I’m just curious, but what did that customer say no to?’ ‘What do you mean?’ I shot back. ‘That guy just bought a suit, sport coat, three shirts, six ties, shoes, socks, a belt and underwear! What do you mean, what did he say no to?’
“Harold waited calmly for me to stop being defensive, then he said, ‘We’ve already established what he said yes to. What I want to know now is, what did he say no to?’
“I thought for a long time, mentally reviewing the sale in my mind, then sheepishly I replied, ‘Nothing. That customer didn’t say no to anything.’ ‘So,’ Harold asked, ‘then how did you know he was done?’
I have long embraced rejection in my life, but this book takes it to another level by advising you to set goals based on the number of no’s you receive. Here are some quotes:
The salesperson never decides when the sale is over; the customer does.
“I realized that failure was the halfway mark on the road to success, not a destination to be avoided but rather a stepping stone to get what I really wanted in life. Most people get to the sign marked ‘failure’ and they figure they’re heading in the wrong direction turn around and head back home. They think that success must be back the other way, but it’s not! It’s straight ahead!”
Failing… and becoming a failure… are two very different things. Successful people fail eagerly while failures avoid failing.
“Courage is not the absence of fear”… “Courage is acting in the face of fear. It’s being afraid of something and doing it anyway.”
“I told them that hearing yes is the easy part of the job and teaches you virtually nothing. But learning to hear no over and over again and to never quit… now that builds character and self-esteem. That’s empowering.”
“I know the day I start giving in to my fears in one area of my life, it will only be a matter of time before it becomes easier to avoid other challenges as well.”
“…if you truly want to accelerate your sales performance, you have to fail faster!”
“…a no is always better than getting a ‘let me think about it.'”
Not only should you get a no from a prospect, but you should get multiple no’s. You should be like a child asking his parent for a candy bar at the checkout line of the grocery store. Does the child give up at the first no? No.
This strategy reminds me of myself when trying to invite a girl back to my apartment. On many occasions I’ve received over five no’s before she finally changed it to a yes. I would have lost out on dozens of notches if I didn’t keep pushing my prospect. An initial no merely begins the closing process.
This book is about sales but it very effortlessly applies to getting laid. Simply substitute sales calls with approaches. I highly recommended it for its powerful message and brevity.
Read More: “Go For No” on Amazon