Paul Castain's Blog

Is That All You Got?

Posted August 24, 2010

I quietly approached one of the sales reps in the office. I was careful not to alert him of my presence because I wanted to observe him in his natural habitat. I no sooner made it to the cubicle behind him (admittedly I might have been humming the James Bond theme) when he completed the call and tossed out the lead sheet. Then in what only can be described as a “rinse and repeat stankfest” the dude kept calling, getting rejected and then throwing out the lead sheet (and don’t get me started why the company didn’t believe in CRM) Before he could continue, I sprang out from cubicle #3 and yelled “What the hell are you doing?” As a side note, it was in this moment that I learned that you should never jump out at anyone who has Irritable Bowel Syndrome but hindsight, right?

I’ll spare you the entire conversation (and cleanup in cubicle 2!) and cut to the chase which was “They all told me they weren’t interested” That was it. One freakin No and we have now slammed a door shut for all eternity!

Fast forward to an older, balder Uncle Paul. I get a voice mail from someone who claims to be a cold calling genius (I’m taking some creative license here because I don’t want to be unprofessional and get specific). I get busy and never respond. Well that and quite frankly, her message bored the hell out of me. A week later, like clockwork (as if now I’m the Tuesday, 3:00 call in their CRM) I get another call. I decide to blow that one off too. They start with the emails ( 2 I believe) then I shoot back a response of “Thanks, but no thanks” I never heard from them again and yet they teach cold calling skills.

Basically . . . she gave up!

And that’s about right because studies tell us that the average rep gives up after only 3-4 attempts.

In the spirit of some tough love, forgive me for asking . . .


The next time you want to throw in the towel (I don’t care if its after one “NO” like “Mr. IBS” in the first example or after the standard 4) consider the following:

1)   Your competitor loves it when you quit. Your acceptance of a “No” gives them a “Yes” on a platter!

2)   Colonel Sanders took 1009 “No’s” before his first “YES” in launching KFC!

3)   Chicken Soup For The Soul received over 140 rejections!

4)   The Rocky script was rejected something like 1300 times

Kind of makes 4 attempts look like baby sh*t along side these, huh?

And don’t get me wrong. Persistence is never a license to be a pain nor should we cling to the old cliché of “knowing how to take a punch” or “my money is on the guy who gets up after getting knocked down”

Didn’t we just describe a human punching bag?

My money is actually on the person who knows why they got knocked on their ass, gets up and then goes back with a better strategy.

Otherwise, the little voice in my head still asks

Is that all you got?

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.

Thomas Edison (a dude who took something like 10,000 “No’s”)

Today you are cordially invited to keep trying!

Bonus points if you immediately call someone back who told you “No” at some point!

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