1Asking—The Most Important Discipline in Sales

Go for no.

—Andrea Waltz

Richard left 71 voice mail messages asking for an appointment. He sent 18 emails. He stalked me on LinkedIn.

He managed to get me to answer the phone on at least three occasions, but I brushed him off each time. He also called, and wrote, and connected on social media with each of the key stakeholders in my organization.

For five months Richard asked and asked and asked for an opportunity to demonstrate his software solution. And for five months, he got nowhere—until he finally caught me at the right time. It was in May, five months after his first attempt to set an appointment.

When I answered the phone, I recognized his voice. I almost brushed him off again, but since I didn't have anything else scheduled and he'd been so persistent, I felt a subconscious obligation to give him a chance.

Richard wasted no time getting me to agree to a demo. His software as a service (SaaS) solution was impressive, and it did solve one of our training delivery problems. I was transparent about how much I liked what he'd shown me. Less than an hour later, he asked for my commitment to buy.

Without thinking, I threw out an objection:

“Richard, it looks like a great program and I like it. But I'm going to need to discuss it with my team before we commit to anything. I know some of them have advocated for your platform, but my schedule is packed, and getting everyone up to speed and using it is going to be a distraction in ...

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