Maple logo
Free Trial

Maple Blog

In Sales, How Many No's Does It Take to Get a Yes?

December 20, 2023 (1y ago)

Annoyingly, there is not one answer to this question. It depends which industry you are selling, what products you sell, your ability to persevere and how you use rejection. The good news is that you can know this number with a little know-how.

Woman holding up two signs one saying yes and one saying no

Understanding the Sales Process

Sales Funnel Dynamics: The sales funnel is a fundamental concept in understanding customer engagement. It illustrates the journey from initial contact to the final sale. Typically, a large number of potential customers enter the top of the funnel, but only a fraction convert into sales at the bottom. This natural attrition rate means facing numerous rejections before securing a sale. But over time you will start to see a pattern.

Industry and Product Specificity: Different industries and products have varying sales cycles and conversion rates. High-value products, like real estate or luxury cars, generally have lower conversion rates compared to lower-value items, such as fast-moving consumer goods. Keep this in mind when analysing how many times you get a no before you get a yes.

Target Audience Relevance: The relevance of the product or service to the targeted audience significantly impacts the number of rejections. A well-targeted audience will likely have a higher conversion rate, reducing the number of no's needed to get a yes.

Psychological and Strategic Aspects

Understanding Rejection: Sales is a field rife with rejection. Successful salespersons understand that each 'no' brings them closer to a 'yes.' This mindset is crucial for perseverance in the face of rejection.

Learning from No's: Each rejection provides an opportunity to learn and refine sales techniques, understand customer needs better, and improve product offerings. If you understand why it's a no, you will be getting closer to a yes.

Building Relationships: Sometimes, a 'no' is not a definitive rejection but a step in building a longer-term relationship. Patience and consistent follow-up can eventually turn a no into a yes.

Statistical Insights

The Rule of Averages: In sales, the 'Rule of Averages' suggests that success will eventually come after a certain number of attempts. However, remember this number varies widely across different sales contexts so know your own figures that are relevant to you.

Performance Metrics: Sales organizations often track metrics like conversion rates and the average number of contacts before a sale, providing insight into the typical number of rejections. This can be useful since larger companies have more data to use. But also keep in mind that the company may be trying to get you to out-perform any past sales data they have.

So, the number of no's it takes to get a yes in sales is not a fixed figure (boo!) But based on the industry, product, sales strategy, and individual customer interactions you will be able to estimate how many no’s you’ll hear before you hear a yes (hoorah!).