Discount the Word “No” or refuse to accept the word no.Most of these callers counter my “no” with asking when they can call again or by telling me when they plan on calling again. Others ask for the reason behind my “no” or push for a face-to-face meeting. Recently a caller told me I sounded angry – well yeah - I thought I was answering an important phone call and instead had to tell you for the 3rd time I wasn’t interested in your paperless document system.
For the most part, these calls are harmless interruptions. My “no” is on behalf of my organization, so no matter what a salesperson says or tactic they use they will not be able to manipulate their way into working with my company. This isn’t always the case in our personal lives and sometimes these conversations can be manipulative and damaging.
Take Michelle Shaeffer's story for instance:
When Michelle refused to work with a potential business coach the coach called her a liar and told her she’d never succeed. This conversation was so damaging it left Michelle in tears and full of self-doubt for weeks. She felt like a complete failure, didn't know what to do except give up and almost did.
Several warning signs Gavin de Becker provides in The Gift of Fear help us conclude this sales person is manipulative and not to be trusted:
Michelle’s intuition told her so:
One of the reasons Michelle initially declined to work with this coach was because she wasn't sure they were the right fit to work together. Clearly Michelle’s intuition kicked in and was telling her something was off with this relationship.
The Unsolicited Promise:
This coach offered a "no pitch" strategy session claiming she wasn't going to sell during her introductory call. Sounds to me like she was saying I’m not going to sell you anything, I promise.
Discounting the word “No”:
When Michelle declined and explained why, the coach told her she had to put the program on a credit card if she really wanted to reach the goals she'd shared with her. The coach was refusing to accept Michelle’s no.
When Michelle told the coach she didn’t have a credit card. The coach responded with, "Everyone has credit cards" and if Michelle wasn't willing to be honest she’d never succeed in business.” Typecasting always involves a slight insult and usually one that is easy to refute. The coach wanted Michelle to refute the statement “she’d never succeed” by producing a credit card.
After reading Gavin’s book I hope to be more cognizant of manipulative sales tactics in the future. Instead of taking criticisms and insults to heart, I hope to use them to conclude this is not someone I want to work with.
How to know you are hiring the right coach?
In Ann Daly’s recent post The Secret to Hiring the Right Coach she offers the following advice:
When I was searching for a post-divorce therapist, I asked my friend Dusty--herself a therapist--what I should look for in an initial session. How would I know if the therapist was offering me value? Dusty's response was immediate: "You should get at least one fresh way of thinking about your situation."Thanks Ann for that excellent advice.
And that's the one thing you should get from your first conversation with a coach, too. If you don't, keep looking. Reputable coaches won't charge you for an informational consultation.
You can read Michelle’s post, "She Called Me a Liar and Said I'd Never Succeed" in its entirety here.
Have you encountered a salesperson that refused to hear “no”?
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The Gift of Fear