Quitting too soon?  Did one little ‘no’, or ‘I have to think it over’ discourage you???  Now there’s a pity because, as the saying goes, you’ve got to shovel a lot of sh**t before you find the pony.

Back in the 80’s, when mortgages skyrocketed to 20% and higher, I was Rookie of the Year, and a Top Producing realtor.  I was dumb – smart dumb.  You see, I figured that anyone who contacted me had one thing in mind – to buy, or sell, a house.  I had no idea that there was such a thing as shopping around, so I went into every conversation as if I had the deal – and I did.  I had a 98% closing ratio.  Unwittingly, I set myself up for success – there was no such thing as quitting too soon, because I was there to make a sale.  PERIOD.

If you don’t know me by now, I’m all about questions.  I keep joking that I am part of the WHY generation.  I’m curious.  I just had to know.  Why do you like this?  Why don’t you like that?  Why is that important.  In hindsight, I recognize that with every single person, I started a dialogue that led us both to the heart of the matter – to the close.

Information gathering

Information gathering is different from asking for the sale.  It’s developing a relationship.  It’s genuine.  It helps me to drill down into what matters for my prospects, what their key pain points are, and the kind of solutions they’re looking for. It helps to understand if we’re a match.  Even better?   It avoids the awkwardness when it comes to the follow up.

And that takes me to the next point.  Yeah, the F.U. one (of course I’m talking about Follow Up).  You see, one of the things I learned was never walk away without getting permission for the follow up.  I mean, you can’t quit too soon if someone is EXPECTING you to follow up.  So here’s the set up for the follow up…

“I know you’re going to need some time to absorb all that we’ve just gone over, and I want to make sure you’re confident that this is the right decision for you.  Make sure you keep notes over the next [x] days so that when I talk to you next, you’ll have a list of questions I can answer for you.  Don’t be shy about checking out my competition either, that wouldn’t be unusual (this is where a really great SWOT analysis comes in handy, because you should know exactly what your strengths, and your competition’s weaknesses are and prep your prospect for the competitor’s  answers to their most important concerns).  So to give you enough time to do your research, what if I contact you on ________ at _______.  Can we schedule that in so neither of us forgets?  What’s the best way for me to get in touch with you?”  Then you make an appointment in your calendar and send them a notification for theirs (don’t forget read receipts on your emails).

See?  Now there’s no quitting – you have an APPOINTMENT to keep.  In fact, quitting too soon doesn’t make you a chicken at this stage – it makes you a liar!!!

Sometimes a NO is a NO – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

So, what about the real, honest, genuine ‘NO’.  You see, although you might feel in your heart of hearts you have the solution to this person’s problem, sometimes they don’t see it that way.  It could be price, it could be method of delivery, and sometimes (ouch this one hurts) it could be you.  In the early days of the business consulting industry, I got no’s from people because I was a woman in a man’s world, and it took a while for the optics to adjust. 

Good thing I’m tenacious.

But I did have to walk away from business, no doubt about it.  Fortunately there was lots more out there, and that’s how I learned that for every 10 doors that close, there’s bound to be one that opens – and that’s the right one.  In other words, the more you hear ‘no’ the closer you’re getting to a ‘yes’.  They are out there.  What a pity if you quit too soon to hit the right door.  

There’s no shortcut.

The good news is that when you’re feeling discouraged, when you’re feeling like packing it all in, so are your competitors.  That means that if you persevere (and now you know a yes is around the corner, it’s easier to stay the course)  your competition will fall by the wayside out of the same fear that formerly paralyzed you.  And by the time you hit the right door, you’ll be the only one knocking.

NEVER QUIT TOO SOON.  Your door is coming right up.  Keep knocking.  Set yourself up for success.


  • Go into every conversation expecting to make a sale
  • Set up your follow up
  • NO is a good thing

Now, get out there and sell.

Angela Sutcliffe is one S.O.B. (Smart Old Broad). She’s been in business for over 30 years, most of that time advising small business owners and sales professionals on tried-and-true business processes that stand the test of time.

Angela is the founder and principal consultant at Angela Sutcliffe Business Consulting where she works 1:1 with clients looking for exponential growth in their business… or just a way out of their current disorganization.  She’s a teacher, trainer, writer and speaker with an expertise in small business and leadership.  Angela offers workshops, webinars, and speaks to associations, organizations and companies about strategies to take them to the next level, and leadership mindset.

When it comes to business that works, you just can’t beat experience.  Contact Angela