How to Say Ok Goodbye When a Prospect Says No

There are just three things to do when a prospect says “No”.  First you say “Ok” and then you say “Good-bye” and then you hang up.  However, the way you do each of these makes a lot of difference.  The meaning that the listener perceives is greatly influenced by your tone and timing.

The tone should be emotionally neutral, matter-of-fact, as if you were making a simple statement that has no “attitude”.  It should not convey your frustration about hearing “no” from yet another prospect.  It should not reveal your boredom with the process of making call after call.  It is also very important that your tone does not communicate an enthusiasm or friendliness that the prospect is likely to presume is faked.

The timing should clearly separate the “Ok” from the “Good-bye”.  Say these two words as two separate statements, with a pause in between.  Do not act like you are in a rush.  After you say “Good-bye” wait a while in silence before you hang up.  It’s best to let the other party hang up first.

Keep the intended meaning of each of these three things clearly in your mind when you do them.

  • Ok means that you acknowledge and accept what the prospect has just said.  It means that you are not going to argue.  It demonstrates that you did not have an emotional attachment to that particular outcome.  It demonstrates that you listen.
  • Good-bye means that you are done with this call.  It means that you have nothing more to say.  It demonstrates that you are moving on in a businesslike manner.
  • Waiting for a while before you hang up means that you are not dismissing the prospect.  You are not “slamming the door”.  It also gives the prospect an opportunity to ask you not to hang up yet.  This does happen, especially after you have called that prospect a few times.

To hear some samples of how to say “Ok … Good-bye”, you can play the following audio

Secret Sales Tips and Tricks

by Jacques Werth

Why are those words so alluring?

The most successful salespeople seldom read articles with those words in the title.  Such articles are for salespeople who think that selling is just a bag of tips and tricks.

There are no secret tips.  There are no magic tricks.  Effective selling is about finding a sales process that works, following that process carefully, and measuring the results.  Pay attention to doing it right.  You can’t learn how to sell just by reading articles or participating in sales discussion groups.  Although it is possible to learn to sell by reading a lot of books, this doesn’t work for most people.

Books and CD’s can teach you a great deal about selling, but not much about the step-by-step details on how to actually do it.  For that, we recommend training and practice.

The idea of “tips and tricks” is just another sales trick.

10 Tips for Prospecting Success

by Jacques Werth

The ability to prospect efficiently, effectively and enjoyably will enable you to meet with prospects that need, want and can afford your products and services – now. Your confidence will soar and empower you to develop a consistently superior income stream.

1. Start with a highly targeted telephone prospecting list, consisting of people or companies that are most likely to buy your type of products and services. Use a highly reputable list broker to find such a list. Start with a list of no more than 600 names. You cannot afford to develop your own list; It is much too time consuming. If you already have a book of business, follow this prospecting process with your existing clients as if they are new prospects.

2. Call every name on your list every 3-4 weeks. Understand that only a small percentage of your list will be ready to buy the first time that you call. Many more will be ready each successive time that you call. People buy in their own time for their own reasons; not because you have to make a sale this week. Calling them frequently is vital to prospecting success.

3. Present a “prospecting offer” of no more than 45 words that clearly states who you are, what you are selling, and two features of your product or service. Finish up with “Is that what you want?” Each time you call, change the two features. That will prevent most prospects from getting annoyed. It will also eliminate most of the rejection that is caused by traditional cold calling.

4. If the prospect says “No” or “I am not interested,” you say “Okay, good bye.” Do not press for an appointment. Do not try to engage the prospect in a conversation or ask any questions. This will be the most pleasant sales call they ever get. It will assure that very few prospects will ask you not to call again.

5. Schedule your prospecting sessions for 3½ hours. Take a fifteen-minute break between each hour. This is more productive than five prospecting sessions of one hour each.

6. Tape yourself. Use a tape recorder with an open microphone to tape your side of each call. Start the tape when the prospect answers. Listen to how you sound. The goal is to hear yourself using your usual conversational tones. Do not try to sound like a professional salesperson. Do not come across as overly enthusiastic, unusually friendly, or enticing. Just relax and present your offer without persuasion.

7. Always be in a “Disqualification” mode. Be determined to spend your selling time only with High Probability Prospects. Disqualify Low Probability Prospects quickly and courteously. Don’t allow desperation or anxiousness to deter you from your mission. If the prospect says “Yes,” you ask “Why?” Let the prospect convince you that he/she is a High Probability Prospect.

8. Accept the fact that prospecting really is a “numbers game.” The most important numbers are your Dials per Hour and the ratio of prospecting Offers to Dials. Most agents dial at least fifty numbers per hour.

9. Keep accurate records of your prospecting sessions. We have trained thousands of agents to be successful prospectors. The most successful keep accurate records. The least successful don’t. The act of keeping records will enable your subconscious mind to constantly improve your results.

10. Most top producers make fewer appointments, but close most of the prospects they meet.

You can learn more about efficient, effective, and enjoyable prospecting by going to

Prospecting and the Gatekeeper

By Miles Sonkin, High Probability® Selling

If you’re calling business to business, and you’re reaching the administrative assistant, chances are that they know all about what the decision maker wants and doesn’t want.

The concept of getting past the gatekeeper usually ends badly. This article provides a different approach.

Q. When making prospecting calls, the prospect often ‘isn’t in’. When should I call next? Won’t the gatekeeper get irritated if I keep calling?

A. Here’s how we handle this common, and frustrating, situation in High Probability Selling:

Joe Prospect, please.

“Who’s calling?”

This is Miles Sonkin with High Probability Selling.

“Is Mr. Prospect expecting your call?”

No he isn’t. Are you Mr. Prospect’s gatekeeper?

“Well … yes.”

I am calling Mr. Prospect to make a twenty second offer. Is it okay if I make the offer to you right now and you can determine if you are willing to put me through, or not?


[Give Offer] … Is this something Mr. Prospect would want?

At large companies, the gatekeeper typically knows Mr. Prospect’s business as well as he does, and can answer the question with a “Yes,” “Probably” or “No” answer. When you get a “Yes” or “Probably,” they’ll do one of the following:

  • Put you through to Mr. Prospect, if he’s available
  • Specifically ask you to leave the message on Mr. Prospect’s voicemail. (When this happens, leave the message, but start it with: “This is Miles Sonkin with High Probability Selling. I just spoke with Gatekeeper Name, your assistant, and after I told her why I was calling, she specifically asked me to leave you a voicemail message, because she thought it was something you might want.” Then give your offer and leave your phone number.
    Take as much time as needed to write your message down and commit to reading it to Mr. Prospect.
  • If the gatekeeper is not willing to put you through, say, “OK…Goodbye.”

This type of conversation rarely happens because other aspects of the HPS prospecting method make this type of conversation rarely necessary. There are a number of factors, one of which is calling with a new offer every 3-4 weeks. This makes gatekeeper blocks an increasing rarity for the HPS prospector.

Persuasion is a Great Way to Sell If…

Another story from my observations of top producer selling methods…

Bill Silvers was the top producer for the largest textile manufacturer in North America. He was the second of hundreds of top salespeople that I observed working with prospects and customers. During the first sales visit that I went on with him, he was showing his company’s new seasonal textile samples to the owner of a dress manufacturing company. The owner said, “Bill, none of these samples are what we want for this spring’s line. We’re going in a different direction.”

Bill said, “Okay Manny. How about telling me about any changes you plan for your summer line?” They discussed that for the next fifteen minutes and then we left.

Walking to his car, I asked Bill why he didn’t try to persuade the customer that his samples would sell. He said, “Manny knows his business far better than I do. If I tried to persuade him, he would feel disrespected, resist my persuasion and he would resent me for trying. This way, I kept his respect and enhanced the probability of doing business with him in another few months.”

Persuasion is a great way to sell if you can find people who want to be persuaded to buy. But, think about how you would react when someone tried to persuade you to buy something you did not want. You would probably resist and resent them, too. That is why prospects who want to be persuaded are so rare that finding them is a real long shot.

If you really think you are a good persuader then you probably make appointments with people who are interested in your products and services. Interested people may seem to be in need of persuasion, though they seldom want to be persuaded and most of them resist. Salespeople who prospect and sell that way make loads of appointments. However, most of them don’t do much business.

Salespeople who think they are not great persuaders often sell a lot more. They gain a big advantage by focusing on finding and making appointments only with people who already want to buy what they are selling.

Good Selling,

If you want to read more about the advantages of not persuading, the first 4 chapters of our book is available online.

If you want to experience what it feels like to talk with a High Probability salesperson, give us a call at 800-394-7762 (disconnected in 2015 – see updated contact page).

Real Estate Sales Success: With Integrity, Without Stress

by Jacques Werth, as told to Paul Bunn   (and posted by Carl Ingalls)

We were in a large meeting room in a nice hotel, in a suburb of Seattle. Twelve successful Realtors were attending a Real Estate Sales Mastery workshop. They were an unusually well-dressed group for a two-day offsite workshop.

At our request, one of the participants had borrowed a sample front door and door frame from a builder. It was in the front of the meeting room and it was braced to stand on its own. The outside of the door was to the right, and to the left of the inside of the door we had a kitchen table and some chairs. Those were the props that we needed to begin the first exercise.

One of the workshop participants was asked to role-play how she approaches a visit to a homeowner who wants to sell his house. The instructor played the part of the home owner.

The first Realtor walked up to the outside of the door and knocked. The instructor opened the door and said “Hello.”

The Realtor flashed a big smile, held out her hand and said, very cordially, “Mr. Smith, it is so good to meet you. I am Pam Jackson with XYZ Real Estate. How are you today?”

The instructor invited her in and offered her a chair in the “kitchen.”

“Your home is very lovely. I really like what you did with the kitchen,” said Pam with delight, while looking all around.

The instructor stopped the role-play at that point and thanked Pam. He asked her to switch roles. She would now play the homeowner and the next participant would play the Realtor. He was even more effusive than Pam. Each successive Realtor tried to out-do those what went before them in their attempts to impress the “prospect” with their enthusiasm, charm and likeability.

During those role-plays, the other Realtors watched intently and remained very quiet. Several preened their clothing and hair before it was their turn.

For the second part of the role-play the instructor played the part of the Realtor, with Pam playing the homeowner. The instructor knocked on the door, and the Pam opened it. “Yes?’ she said.

“I’m Joe Instructor with HPS Realty. Are you Pam Jackson?

“Yes, I am,” she said, reaching to shake his hand. “Come in. I suppose you want to look over the house.”

“Before we do that, we need to get to know each other and determine whether we have a mutually acceptable basis for doing business.”

Homeowner: “Okay, we can sit in the kitchen, here.”

Realtor: “When we spoke on the phone we agreed this meeting would take about ninety minutes of uninterrupted time. Have you arranged for that?”

Homeowner: “Yes, I turned off my phone and put the dog out in the back yard.”

Realtor: “We agreed that the purpose of our meeting is to determine whether we have a mutually acceptable basis for selling your home. Is that your intention?”

Homeowner: “Yes.”

Realtor: “And, we agreed that if we can meet your conditions of satisfaction for the sale of your home, we will make a decision about that today. Is that still your intention?”

Homeowner: “Yes, it is.”

The instructor thanked Pam and asked her to rejoin the rest of the group. Then, he asked the entire group “What did you notice about the way I just approached Pam, the prospect?”

They called out their answers:

“You were very straight-forward,” “You were dignified,” You were very relaxed,” “You were authentic,” “You were not acting,” “You were in control,” “You asked for and got commitments,” Pam then capped it off with, “I felt privileged to be your prospect, I felt respected, and I felt respect for you.”

Then, the instructor explained exactly what he did, why, and how he did it, and asked all of the participants to replay both roles – doing it that way.

At the end of that exercise, they were offered a choice; continue to sell by out-charming, out-smiling, out-dressing, out-dancing and out-impressing their competition, or learn how to sell on a basis of mutual trust, mutual respect and mutual commitments. They all chose the latter.

What if the choice was yours?

What do you want to do?

Why Most Sales Tips Don’t Work

By Paul Bunn and Carl Ingalls

The Quest for the “One”

Many salespeople who contact us are looking for that one all-powerful sales tip or technique that will make them more successful.

Finding Buried Treasure

Many sales seminars are sold by promising to deliver a “new” tip or trick or a silver bullet
technique that will magically make all of your customers buy.  Enticed by the possible existence of a secret weapon that you haven’t heard about yet, you continually search for this buried treasure…based on the belief that one more elusive idea will catapult you to sales success.


Nearly all of these ideas that are presented as breakthroughs have been around since the beginning of recorded selling history.  From using a prospect’s first name over and over throughout your conversation with them, to using your charisma and charm to create a relationship so they’ll buy from you, to acting interested.  A recent Google search yielded hundreds of sites offering anywhere from 10 to 75 tips per site.

They Often Make Sense

How do you determine whether a sales tip or new idea will actually work?  Often, the effectiveness of the latest “killer tactic” is based upon folklore, or a singular success story.  The most popular ones make perfect sense, because they are very logical – at a superficial level.

The Reality, Part 1

It is when you actually try to apply these ideas that problems occur.  They don’t work as they are supposed to.  For example, you encounter unexpected sales resistance, and you think you just didn’t do it right.

The Reality, Part 2

It isn’t you…it’s the technique.  Techniques that are based on persuasion, whether overt or covert, no matter how sophisticated, actually prevent more sales than they generate.

An Alternative

Learn to sell using the opposite of persuasion.  Focus on what people want and don’t try to change that.  It’s not about technique; it’s about intention.

If you want to learn more about this, read Chapter One of the book High Probability Selling.

Dignity, Self-Respect and Real Estate Success

A Different Mindset for Successful Realtors

We have trained hundreds of Realtors and Brokers. Most of them were already quite successful before they enrolled in our sales courses. And, all of them had previously been trained by one or more well known real estate sales trainers. So, why did they spend time and money to participate in our particular courses?

Word got around that they should read our book, “High Probability Selling” (HPS). It is not a textbook or a how-to book. It tells the story about a veteran salesperson (in the packaging industry) who learned how to find and make appointments with prospects who wanted to buy what he had to offer. It showed them how, by being direct and honest with prospects, he could close a much higher percentage of them.

So what; isn’t that what all sales trainers say? No, it isn’t. Most sales trainers say they can teach you tricks and techniques to get more appointments and close more sales. If you have the drive, motivation and guts to use the manipulative tactics they teach, it usually works. However, most Realtors don’t like to use those tricks and tactics. They don’t like how they feel about themselves when they sell that way. Unfortunately, those who will not sell that way often adopt a totally soft-sell approach and they don’t sell very much.

This book presents an entirely different sales process based on mutual trust, mutual respect, and authenticity. It’s about being totally forthcoming with people. It’s about being who you really are, instead of acting the part of a charming and charismatic professional. In that shift, those highly successful Realtors saw the possibility of regaining their dignity, self-respect and self-esteem. They wanted that more, a lot more, than they wanted to increase their income by some large percentage.

When they participated in the HPS course, they no longer felt the need to be overly courteous, overly friendly, or extremely accommodating. They gave up the ultra-cheery persona, the rapport-building techniques, and the insincere flattery. Instead, they learned to stop treating prospects like prey and to deal with them on the basis of mutual trust and respect. To do that requires a totally different mindset and an organized sales process designed to achieve that kind of a relationship. They also learned how to disqualify untrustworthy prospects before they become the worst kind of clients.

HPS is not a soft-sell process. It requires total disclosure by both parties. Clear, explicit mutual agreements and commitments with prospects who are ready, willing and able are required. Prospects who withhold commitments are temporarily disqualified, quickly and courteously. They will be provided with more opportunities to make commitments again, soon. That saves the substantial time and resources that are wasted on prospects who do not intend to buy.

How did the training work for those successful Realtors? It created a new, more enjoyable way for them to live their lives, and to sell even more in less time. Work became more like fun than work. Personal relationships improved. Their sales and income improved. Many of them hired staffs and their staffs also enrolled in HPS courses. They enrolled in follow-on programs to get a deeper understanding of the HPS mindset that they experienced in previous courses.

If you want to see how the HPS mindset can work for you, read the book, attend an HPS Mindset Teleconference, or both.

One-Minute Sales Tip: Say Goodbye to Resistance

What causes sales resistance?

It’s not automatically produced by the customer; it’s created by the intention of the salesperson. Resistance is created when the salesperson intends to do whatever it takes to get the prospect to buy.

Most people perceive this as pressure.  The natural reaction whenever pressure is applied is resistance. Remove the pressure, and you and the customer breathe easier and more business gets done.

Resistance is not a factor when seller and buyer both want the same thing – to do business together. Change your intention.  Find the prospects that want to buy and say goodbye to sales resistance.  

Script Your Way to Being a Good Listener

By Paul Bunn

“I’m just preparing my impromptu remarks.” – Winston Churchill

One of the keys to effective listening, especially over the telephone, is to use a script.

Before you recite a myriad of reasons that disagree with that idea, momentarily suspend your disbelief and read on.

When prospecting, or selling, you either follow a well thought out process or you’re “winging it”. The chances are that if you’re winging it, you’re not thought of by your prospects as a good listener.

We train salespeople to design “offers” that quickly and accurately describe their product or service. Then we drill them on how to reply to eleven typical responses that they are likely to hear from prospects.

We also recommend that they create a “prospecting board” or visual display of these responses and standardized phrases to handle them. The most successful prospectors use them every time they prospect. Therefore they don’t have to memorize the replies, even if there are only 11 replies needed.

These successful prospectors also read their offer (script) every time they make a prospecting call. Do they sound like they are reading from a script? Yes, sometimes, in the beginning. Does it adversely affect their results? No, it actually has a positive effect.

In numerous surveys on the decision criteria people use in making important purchases, trust and respect are numbers one and two, respectively. Effective selling, whether you’re using High Probability or not, is about those two factors. Listening to prospects is one way to achieve mutual respect.

Even people who are great at multi-tasking find it very difficult to concentrate on two different speakers at the same time. If you are trying to listen to your prospects and at the same time, thinking about what you are going to say next, you’ll find that you don’t hear them or connect with them deeply enough.

Using a script is a reliable and measurable way to discover what works and what doesn’t work in your communication. It also is a way to be well prepared for making calls, and increase your listening and building a relationship of respect with your prospects. Scripts also keep you in control of the sales process.

If you are a salesperson who uses High Probability, perhaps this article is a reminder about one of the fundamentals of written offers and responses. For those of you who want a refresher or coaching on your prospecting system, stay tuned for the announcement of the High Probability Mastery Coaching Program. Or call us to find out more.

If you are a salesperson who is not using our system, to discover how using a script and a few short responses can help you sell more with less stress, and build relationships of respect with your prospects. Or, if you want to discover what HPS sounds like, give us a call at (610) 566-1535, or toll-free at (800) 394-7762.

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