Communication Risk & Resilience Values & Purpose

The Secret to Selling

Shellye Archambeau


"Be willing to get a No." Shellye's sales secret is as simple as that. If you don't ask, you'll never get it!


“Be willing to get a No.” Shellye’s sales secret is as simple as that. If you don’t ask, you’ll never get it!


Throughout your life, there have been so many moments where you had to sell an idea, whether it was as a club leader in school, in college, or as a CEO in corporate America. Can you share with us one secret to selling a new idea to others?

Shellye Archambeau

One secret is be willing to get a no. A lot of times people actually stopped short of selling. And if you stop short of selling, that's just hinting. A lot of people do that. But you have to be willing to get to a no. And so getting a no means you're willing to ask for the order, you're willing to ask for the funding. You're willing to ask for the investment. You're willing to ask for the resource, you're being willing to ask for the time, whatever it is that you need to be able to go make something happen. You have to actually go ask for it. And that can feel uncomfortable because what if you get a no? And then what does that mean? But one of the things that I learned in sales way back when because I started my career in sales, is getting a no is a good thing. Because when you get a no, what you get is the opportunity to find out, why not? Because a no, a no doesn't mean no forever. What a no typically means is not now. It means the timing's not right. The value proposition is not right. The team's not right. Something's not right. So let me get the no, you tell me no. And then I can say, all right, that's disappointing. Help me understand why, why can't we? And then when you get those answers, that then gives you the roadmap of what you have to go change to make it a yes. Or you have clarity. If you never ask then you don't ever have that clarity and you're waiting and waiting and wondering why something doesn't happen. Is it something that you can go rework or change, et cetera or not within the timeframe or the horizon that you're working. So, depending upon the answer, it's something that you can go do something about it, then you go and do something about it. If it really is a no, that makes sense to you, right? The dynamic, the reason why, whatever, and one in which you really don't have the ability to affect change, then you come up with an alternate plan.