Turning “Nos” into a “Yes”

Turn No into Yes

Do you hate being told no?

Most of us do. It’s frustrating. It means that we don’t get what we want – at least not right away. From the time we’re two years old we don’t want to hear “No.”

Unfortunately, in the real estate business you hear “No” a lot. How do you handle it? The good news is that you don’t have to simply walk away. You can turn a “No” into a “Yes.”

No is a Knee-Jerk Reaction

Most people will say “No” to anything as a first reaction. Are you shopping in a store, and an employee asks if you need help? “No.” Any time your coworker or child starts to say “Hey, would you..”


The good news is that means the first time you hear a rejection it probably isn’t a firm one. They probably haven’t even thought about what you said. They are being interrupted, or they are defensive, or they are thinking about something else.

So how do you handle a “No” that’s not a real “No”?

Start the Conversation the Right Way

One way to avoid the knee-jerk “No” is to start the conversation without going straight for the sale.

Let’s say you are doing a pop-by and someone is chatting with you at the door. Ask questions like, “Isn’t this a great neighborhood?” and, “Wow, what a sweet dog, I bet that’s a blessing to come home to every day.”

In essence, talk about agreeable things where they start saying “Yes.” Of course they like the neighborhood. Of course they love their dog. Get them on these positive topics, and get them saying yes.

After this, you have more room to ask if they know the value of their home and if they’d like to find out. By that time, you’re already an acquaintance they have positive feelings about from your initial conversation.

Be Curious, Not Obnoxious

There are sales jobs where they tell you the customer has to say “No” three times before you can end the conversation. That leads to a lot of obnoxious, pushy sales calls.

Don’t be that person. Instead, be curious. Suppose they say no, they aren’t interested in learning the value of their home. Ask about it. “It never hurts to find out more about your home’s value. What about a value assessment doesn’t interest you?”

Think about things in terms of serving them, not in terms of making a sale. In what way can you serve them? What do you have that they need? How can you set up your conversation so it fits into the timeframe they have?

When you approach a prospect through eyes of curiosity and service, rather than sales and closing, you approach them as a person. The difference in your attitude will be obvious, and the prospect will be much more open to talk to you.

This is Just the Beginning

The full process of handling rejections and turning a “No” into a “Yes” is of course larger than a blog post can cover. But the approach can be the most important part. If you come at things understanding that “No” is often a knee-jerk reaction, and not a real answer, it will be easier to overcome.

You can start the conversation in a way that brings forward “Yes” before you ask for the sale. You can approach the prospect with a spirit of curiosity and service, instead of aggressive sales. Both of these help you set the stage for a good interaction.

What do you do to turn a “No” into a “Yes”? Share in the comments!

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