Psychology of No

It’s a word sales people may hear almost every day, and even though it is expected, it still causes distress. No.

Ever wonder why the word ‘no’ is so much harder to hear than the word ‘yes’? Physiological research suggests it’s because of our brains negativity bias. Even when given positive information of the same magnitude, we are conditioned to respond more strongly to negative information.

As it turns out, most people react this way. We are evolutionarily programmed to have a negative reaction to rejection – it helps us avoid dangerous or harmful situations.

Rejection weighs more heavily, and its effects last longer than those resulting from positive experiences. When a salesperson gets rejected by a potential client this can translates into a potential problem for organisations, as the distress of constant rejection can lead to poor productivity and increased employee turnover.

And if this isn’t enough of a problem, we can also experience distress by having to tell others ‘no’.
Companies want clients to associate their products with positive emotions, but this is not always the case. Clients who tell a salesperson ‘no’ are also experiencing distress because they understand the negative feelings associated with rejection.
So if hearing the word ‘no’ results in such negative effects, what can organisations do to improve the sales experience for both their employees and their clients?

Traditionally marketing teams pass leads to sales, many of which aren’t qualified, resulting in a higher proportion of ‘no’ experiences, and potentially a poor marketing-sales relationship. Marketing automation technology allows marketers the opportunity to become highly sophisticated in their targeting, segmentation and personalised marketing, meaning they can provide sales teams with more accurately qualified leads and a better understanding of what the individual clients are interested in.

Marketing automation can drastically decrease the ‘cold’ interpersonal interactions in sales that so frequently lead to the word, ‘no.’
The best part about setting up a marketing automation system is that it doesn’t have feelings. By using marketing automation, a sales team does not have to face repeated rejection, and potential clients don’t have to dish it out. Instead, a company’s sales team only gets involved once a client has been properly qualified through a lead scoring system that takes into account behaviour in relation to online assets, event attendance, social interactions and other marketing touchpoints.

At this point in the sales process, the chances of rejection are significantly lower than those of a cold call.

However, even though the benefits of marketing automation are abundant, only 53% of businesses are using this tactic to connect with potential clients (Pepper Global), and over half of all businesses still believe that sales calls are the most effective method for nurturing a lead (B2B Lead Generation, 2013). Is your company aware of the positive impact marketing automation can have on attracting potential clients and the experience of your sales team? Is your business leveraging marketing automation software to its fullest potential?

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