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How To Stop Wasting So Much Time to Get “No”

If you’re a service or consulting firm, you’re going to get more no’s than yes’s. So that’s not really the problem. The problem is how long it takes you to get to that no. Instead of taking the expressway, you’re meandering through the hills, unnecessarily extending your sales process. Learn what you need to do instead. 

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Today we’re going to go over why you get so many no’s. Why do you get so many no’s? 

You know that there is a demand for your services. You know that people use them. Maybe you’re a web design company. Perhaps you’re a business consulting firm, or you offer supply chain management services or supply chain consulting. 

It could be almost anything, but you know that there’s a need out there for it. There are other companies that are successful at it. Why are you getting so many no’s? 

You Will Get More No’s Than Yes’s

For service and consulting firms, solo practitioners, or freelancers, you’ll always get more noes than yeses, which is fine. For the most part, you’re just trying to get a few more clients than you had before, or trying to trade out lower-paying clients for higher-paying ones.

The problem is how long it takes for you to get to that no. 

Why You Get so Many No’s

I’m going to give you a couple of scenarios. Tell me if they sound familiar in the comments. You come across a great job listing or a Linkedin post. You respond, and they don’t answer or they reject your proposal. 

There’s a couple of reasons this might have happened

You Didn’t Address Everything in Your Proposal

This typically happens because you haven’t addressed everything in the proposal. If you only address one part of what they’re asking for, they’re probably going to reject you. 

What you need to do is make sure that you’re addressing every aspect of the proposal. Maybe you can partner with somebody, and you can say, “You’re probably not going to find somebody who can efficiently handle all of these things. You should consider building a team.” At least you present an alternative solution. 

You’re Wasting Too Much Time on Lost Causes

However, the next scenario is probably one of the most likely reasons you’re getting so many no’s, and why it’s so painful. 

Let’s say someone refers a new business prospect to you. You get on a call or you meet in person, which takes up even more time. Everyone’s really excited. You draft a proposal and you agonize over it. It takes you a few hours to do, and then you send it. 

You wait. 




Still waiting… 


…and it just doesn’t come. They don’t answer you. They ghost you. 

Or, they tell you that they aren’t “ready to move forward at this time.”

Let’s go back over it. Either way, you’re drafting a proposal, but that can take a few hours if you don’t have a template, or a have a set of packages for your services. 

So a lot of consulting or service firms develop unique solutions for each client. That requires unique proposals. 

You’ve done some research on the client, which took up some time. The phone call or the meeting took up time. 

You’re using up all of this time. You’ve invested people, hours, and resources just to arrive at a no. 

Just Have That Budget Conversation

Oftentimes it’ll be the budget conversation that people are afraid to have, which is understandable. It can be intimidating, but it saves everyone time. 

Let’s say you go and have a phone call, a video call, or you meet in person. That’s time that the prospective client took as well. You’re saving them time by getting some of the logistics out of the way.

You can say, “Hey, I know we haven’t discussed your project yet. Have you had a chance to review my services page that lists my services, and where my pricing starts? If all of that sounds good to you, let’s go ahead and schedule that phone call.” 

You’re saving everyone time by qualifying early, especially with one of the most common main points: price. 

Get Those Time-Consuming No’s out of the Way

It’s not that you’re not going to get no’s. You just have so many long conversations that end in no. 

So if it’s going to be a no, you need to arrive at that no as early as possible. Preferably before you have a discovery call. 

A Services Page Could Help

I’ve got a services page where I have our starting rates for common projects that are often asked of us. That helps set customer expectations. 

What it also does is it gets rid of those tire kickers, who usually say something along the lines of, “I wanted to pay $25 for a blog post that was 1500 words.” When they see my starting prices, they realize that they’ve got the wrong one. That saves you a lot of time. 

You’re also dealing with customers who may be uneducated about what it takes, and therefore what it costs, to actually get these things done. 

You always want to speak from a point of value, but you can’t forget that you’re going to run into a lot of people who just don’t know. They’re unsure about what they want, they may be unsure about the value of what you do as well. 

So you’re going to get no’s. The goal is to get those no’s as quickly as possible. That way you can spend more quality time on the real, potential yes’s.