From time to time I am privileged to come across a book that can be life changing to those who take the time to read and apply. “Go For No” just may be one of those books. I had the opportunity to interview the authors Richard Fenton & Andrea Waltz about their unique approach to success. The interview is reflected below and I hope that when you read their thoughts you’ll take the time to buy and read the book. Meanwhile…enjoy the interview!
- Go For No – an interesting title! Take us on a journey and let’s start with what motivated you to write this book?
Go for No! is actually an experience that is personal to Richard as the main story in the book actually happened to him. As for the plot, we’ve always wondered what it would be like to meet the person you will one day become, say 10 or 20 years in the future. What would they (you) be like? What could they teach you? What advice would you give yourself if this were actually possible? And, since we think most people have a fear of failure and rejection… as we have both had… we decided to make that the main theme of the book.
- Share with us your background and where you gain the knowledge to write this work?
Even before writing the book we would share the concept in half and full day training seminars and it was the thing that people most gravitated to – it was the biggest take-away for the audience. So after hearing that for a couple years we decided to write the book just around this one small topic. And subsequently have created other products as well digging deeper into the nuances of the “no” mindset and strategy.
- A book focused on NO – Is there a difference between looking at NO in your sales organization vs. looking at YES?
The phrase ‘ go for no’ does seem counter-intuitive and it is. You might think: why focus on no when what I want is the yes? Ironically avoiding no’s in your organization, your business and even in your life – it is a recipe for mediocre performance! When you avoid “no” you are actually avoiding “yes” as well. Intentionally increasing the number of times you hear “no” is the basis for the “Go for No” concept. To achieve significant success in today’s world, top performers do not see yes and no as opposites; rather opposite sides of the same coin that depend on each other.
- If you were to choose only one concept out of your book to share with our audience, what would it be?
We share a method in the book that we call “NO GOALS.”
Most of us operate with what are commonly called Yes-Goals… goals for the number of times people say “yes” to us and for how many sales or dollars we need to generate. This approach that we’ve all been taught to use and follow has a serious flaw. The flaw is that, once we achieve the goal we tend to divert our attention to other tasks, or reward ourselves for our success. But how do we reward ourselves? By slowing down, by taking time off, or simply getting involved in non-sales oriented tasks like catching up on paperwork! But there is a better approach that can dramatically increase your performance and that approach is to start setting NO-GOALS instead. That is, setting a goal for the number of times people do say “no” to you. And that’s the insidious thing about only having YES-Goals. Sometimes they end up limiting our performance rather than driving it upward. But if you stay focused on the behaviors necessary to be successful, in this case, hitting your NO-GOALS… the yeses will eventually come.
- Obviously people of both genders can benefit from this material, but do you find that men more than women or women more than men can adopt your program more successfully?
We find that men and women equally benefit however women seem to gravitate towards the ideas more often… perhaps because they have been programmed far more than men to avoid coming across as pushy or aggressive. Women seem to have more opportunity around removing the fears of ‘no’ and the fears around asking for what they want than men.
- What makes Go For No so powerful?
The word “no” is debilitating and depressing for most of us. Of course, as we grew up we were taught, by well-meaning parents, teachers, and authority figures that “no” is bad. We associated “no” with rejection and doing something wrong so we felt bad hearing “no”. As we got older, we continued to shrink within our comfort zone and now many people do everything within their power to avoid hearing ‘no.’
Of course, intellectually we can often rationalize that a “no” doesn’t hurt and it’s not personally but somewhere deep inside we don’t like it and often we do take it personally even though we know better. The programming is pretty deep and so the fear and the reluctance will not go away overnight. But the good news is, you can change how you process the no’s and you can change how you think and feel when your hear those no’s.
In doing so, this can radically change your life and your business when ‘NO’ doesn’t stop you anymore!
- What three benefits would you list as being of value for those who read and apply Go for NO?
The 3 benefits: Reduction in fear of failure and rejection: You will no longer fear failing, you will failure as progress. Next, an Increase in productivity: You will intentionally start to hear ‘no’ more often. Finally, better results in your life: You will start to get more results in business and in life because you are no longer avoiding ‘no’ but you ‘go for no’ and really cool things happen!
- You focus attention on sales professionals – do you think that Go For No has applications in areas where there are not direct sales?
Absolutely. We like to say it is a “life” philosophy, not just a “sales” philosophy. It all comes down to having the courage to ask for the sale, or the date, or for whatever. Understanding that, when you ask, you might get a no – but that is far better than not asking at all and giving yourself the NO!
- Assume you were directing your next response to those in media – what the one take away that readers should gain from your book?
The greatest secret is that successful people do not avoid failures, they literally fail their way to success. ‘NO’ is actually part of the stepping stone along the path to success.