Power of Persuasion: NO

September 5th, 2010 by Frank Damelio

The Power of NO

Nothing is more empowering than the ability to say “no” and walk away. In a recent blog I discussed the most persuasive way to make a request. In this entry, I’ll share a strategy that relies on the power of NO.

 

BUYER’S PERSPECTIVE

In July I moved into a temporary apartment while awaiting the closing of my new home. I had basic cable and Internet through Charter. The fee was $41, and I asked that they waive the one-time fee for the representative to come out and connect me. Charter obliged.

When I moved in August, I called Charter and asked for the same deal. The rep said there would be a $50 charge for hook up. I told him that Charter had waived the fee the first time, and I requested the same. He denied my request, explaining, “the free install promotion just ended”. I politely asked to speak to his supervisor to see whether an exception could be made. He said he would connect me, but he guaranteed the request would be denied.
 

THE POWER OF NO: I thanked him for “trying” and said, “Cancel the order because I need to check out Verizon’s options, and if they can’t do better, I promise I’ll call back and give you my business.” His response? “Oh, wait, I just saw a promotion that will enable me to waive the fee.”

I had already done my research and was going to go with Charter irrespective of a hook up fee. But my trick worked. I knew that Charter trains their reps to open new accounts, and once I was walking out, the rep gave me the deal I requested.

Interestingly enough, I shared this story with a friend who is moving this week. When Charter wanted to charge her the install fee, she cited my case, and they explained, “promotion just ended.” She pushed and they “found” an offer to waive half of the fee. I am confident that if she had requested that they cancel the order she would have received a full-waiver.

Charter’s behavior is reflective of human nature. They want to profit the most from you, but they lose their power when the see that you are ready to walk away.

In many cases using the walk away factor works as long as you don’t back the other guy into a corner and give yourself an opportunity to come back. Be sure to be polite and explain that you need to examine your options.

 

SELLER’S PERSPECTIVE

From a seller’s perspective in a non-commodity market such as training, I use the power of no effectively. I provide custom public speaking training and power of persuasion courses to companies that need to get better results from their people. Some prospects ask for Nordstrom quality at Wal-Mart prices. I always respect that they ask, and I explain how they are getting Nordstrom quality at JC Penny prices.

Then, if they still balk, I don’t push. I tell them the truth, “this training is not for everyone, and I will be happy to pass a referral to another trainer who can work within your budget.” Many times the walk away will convert to a sale because they respect that I know my value. Other times, I will make the referral to another company, and I am okay with that. This system helps me work with the right type of client while passing on those who don’t fit to someone else who can help him or her.

Make a comment below on your experience employing the power of NO.

Ask me about professional development training in the power of persuasion and public speaking.

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5 Responses to “Power of Persuasion: NO”

  1. Jamie Resker Says:

    Frank, I’ll let you know how this works as I begin shopping for a new car!

    Jamie

  2. Frank Damelio Says:

    Jamie,

    Funny you should say that. My mom just bought a new Toyota and made it clear that she would shop around if she did not get a great deal on her trade in. She anchored high with a Blue book value for “excellent” condition and they gave her significantly more than they originally estimated. Best of luck and let me know. Thanks for your comment.

    Frank

  3. Harry Says:

    Great information Frank. My wife is really good at this, me not so much.

  4. Scott Lander Says:

    Hi Frank,
    It certainly helps to do your homework first (like your Mom) before using your great technique which I employ often and successfully I might add.

    Thanks, Scott

    Secretary of NEPCA (Northeast Precast Concrete Association)

    We have hired you twice!

  5. Jeni Keil Says:

    Been reading for a few days now. It was very good and solid information. BTW, Nice web site design as well. I loved reading this and hopefully you’ll write more soon. Do you have a newsletter? How do I subscribe to your blog itself?

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