When a customer tells you “No” it doesn’t mean “no” it just means “no for now.”
Recently I had a great rapport going with a potential Drew Brophy licensee.
They were going to print Drew’s art on various automotive products, such as stickers, floormats and seat covers.
Drew and I were very excited, because we had a similar deal with a company in Australia and it was very successful (meaning we made a lot of $ off of it!).
For six months the woman at the company and I exchanged phone calls, emails and ideas. Finally she was ready to move forward with a contract. Yippee!
I sent her a Deal Memo, laying out the basics of the deal.
BUT, instead of receiving an email from her saying “let’s move to the contract phase” she said these dreaded words: “I met with my team and we aren’t willing to make a commitment to this right now.”
My response? Of course, I was greatly disappointed, but I have been doing this long enough to know that sometimes the timing is just off. A company isn’t ready for you, or your art or whatever you are selling.
But that doesn’t mean that they won’t need you in the future. Which is why my email back to her was friendly and understanding:
“Thank you for your honesty, and please let’s keep in touch! Maybe this will work for you later down the road. I’ll check in with you from time to time. Thank you for the consideration.”
I left the door open to the possibility, for later, when the stars all align perfectly and they are ready to sign that contract.
Her response to my gracious email? She was pleasantly surprised. She promised to keep in touch. And I feel that we now have a very friendly, rapport going.
There have been many times over the years when I have gotten a “no” response. I try not to hear the word “No” but rather interpret it to mean “No for now.”
Take, for example, Leanin Tree, maker of greeting cards. Drew’s first rejection letter came in 2005. We kept trying, and finally, last year, we got a deal for six Drew Brophy greeting cards!
If you hang in there long enough, if you continue to communicate with a potential client, eventually they will say yes and sign on the dotted line.
The next time you feel rejected by a potential client, or gallery, or licensee, look at it this way:
“No” doesn’t mean “no”, it usually means “not now, but maybe later.”
And a “maybe” is an open door!
Continue communicating with them from time to time, keep in touch, and eventually they will say YES!