The power of "No"

FORT KNOX, Ky. (Dec. 19, 2013) -- Do you know how important it is to understand the many interpretations of the answer "No" -- especially in our profession?

No is a word that can cause a new recruiter undue stress and anguish or an experienced recruiter a golden opportunity to uncover a prospect's objection. No usually means no, but often times it's a request for more information or just an inopportune time to talk.

The answer "No" can also be used when shopping. For example, when you walk in a store some retailers rush to greet you with, "May I help you?" You know what the usual answer is, right? "No, just looking." You know this because you have given that response or at least heard it given by others many times. Even if you plan to make a purchase, it's an instinctive response so you can look around without having a sales person tagging along. In other words, you'll let the seller know when you need their help.

The psychology behind a "No" response is the same whether it's a customer looking at new cars or a prospect during the interview process. What is interesting to me though, is how quickly a recruiter will move on if they receive a "No."

An intuitive recruiter knows that NO has many interpretations.

A "No" can mean, "This is not a good time to talk" -- meaning they have other priorities. Other priorities may be, catching them in the middle of a meal, or if you called them on their cell phone while driving, or while at work.

A "No" can mean, "I'm not sure -- you haven't told me enough to convince me to join," which means he or she is interested but isn't ready to commit. Recruiters need to be aware of two things: first, you were not clear with your evidence supporting their needs, or second, the person needs an influencer to help them make a decision.

A "No" can mean, "I don't think there is enough return-on-investment (ROI) for me." That means your value proposition fell short; you can't meet the prospects needs. Maybe you're talking to the prospect about enlisting on active duty when they're only interested in the Reserve.

A "No" can mean simply "No," but more often, it's just a quick way to get you to move on. Sometimes this occurs when you engage a prospect surrounded by their friends or peers. They may not want to show interest in talking to a recruiter. This is exactly why recruiters should contact leads multiple times because a prospect's plans and circumstances are always subject to change. Your periodic contact with a prospect shows them you are interested in them and available should they decide to enlist.

So which "No" is it?

An easy way to find out which "No" a prospect is using is to ask fact-finding questions. They should be well thought out, open-ended questions that will help you understand what your prospect is thinking and feeling. Show a genuine interest and empathy during the conversation and take your time. Asking a few open-ended questions will help you understand what their real objection or fear is.

Two Other Great Benefits of "No"!

Once you do get a legitimate "No" from a prospect, and you are convinced they are not a near-term processing opportunity, you can schedule them for follow-up in your ALRL, and move on. A contact or interview with a "No" response allows you to narrow your near term prospecting efforts on possible yes prospects and applicants who are interested or are ready to talk with you and move ahead toward an Army career.

When you hear a lot of "Nos" -- and recruiters hear a lot of them - you learn how to uncover exactly what they mean. Interpreting them correctly is where the power lies. You control how "No" affects your attitude. So remember, "No" is just another word, not an end all beat all. Andrea Waltz, author of "Go For No" sums it up best when she says, "We must learn to react to 'Yes' and 'No' with equal emotional intensity."

So do you now know the answer "No" better? Let us know if this article has helped you or share your own ideas on this subject by visiting Recruiting ProNet at: https://www.milsuite.mil/book/thread/115475

Know the "No"!

Page last updated Thu December 19th, 2013 at 00:00