Candidates hear “no” all the time, especially from donors.
Too many candidates take “no” personally. But as any sales professional will tell you, “no” isn’t necessarily a rejection of you as an individual, or even your campaign. As Seth Godin notes, “no” could mean…
- I’m too busy
- I don’t trust you
- This isn’t on my list
- My boss won’t let me
- I’m afraid of moving this forward
- I’m not the person you think I am
- I don’t have the resources you think I do
- I’m not the kind of person that does things like this
- I don’t want to open the door to a long-term engagement
- Thinking about this will cause me to think about other things I just don’t want to deal with
What “no” doesn’t mean, Godin goes on to explain, is: “I’ve carefully considered every element of this proposal and understand it as well as you do and I hate it and I hate you.”
If you can find out what the prospective donor’s “no” really means, you have an opportunity to address the real concern and turn the “no” into a “yes.” Just like sales professionals do.
And if you’re not an experienced sales professional, I can’t recommend highly enough reading Zig Ziglar’s “Secrets of Closing the Sale.” Because like it or not, if you’re a candidate, you’re in sales.
May as well accept that reality…and get good at it.