Why customers say "no"
One of the great missed opportunities for any startup or new product venture is not finding out why potential customers say “no”. It’s not that having customers say no doesn’t happen a lot. In fact, for most start-ups or new product ventures, getting shot down happens more times than you could ever imagine. But do you really know why you got the negative response? Do you know where in the process the negative response occurred?
In his book The Four Steps to the Epiphany, author Steven Black makes the point that when you are validating your sales road map, understanding why a customer said no is more important than understanding why a customer said yes.
“You can’t know how well you are doing unless you keep win/loss statistics on sales calls and share them with the entire Customer Development team. Understanding why a customer said no is more important in this step than understanding why a customer said yes. The goal is to understand where in the sales process you get turned down (introduction, product presentation, organizational issues, not invented here issues, technical issues, pricing) so you can refine your sales road map.”
Here’s the takeaway: When was the last time you really looked at your sales road map? While it’s harder to talk about negative responses, sometimes the best information can be gleaned from these defeats.