How to Make Money from Rejection


One of the things that always confuses salespeople is when I tell them some of my best customers have been people who told me 'no'.

This shouldn't be surprising, given our own experience as consumers. Most people say "no" to most offers.

But in sales, we train to "get to yes", we even train to "get to 'no' as quickly as possible" so you can move on to the next prospect.

I am here to tell you that if you want to build a real business, if you want longer-term success, then the real money is in the people who say "no".

When No Means No

How often does a prospect actually tell you 'no' for real?

Very rarely.

In-person you can use this fact to position a sale and land deals from people who are on the fence. Simply say "would you have any objections to us moving ahead?"

This puts them in the position of having to vocalize an actual decision.

Far more often you will hear that the prospect needs to think about it, or they need to talk to a partner, and so on.

That is not a 'no'. It's not a 'heck yes' either, but it is certainly not (yet) a 'no'.

So the very least you should do is get their email address first.

👉 Sign up to Convert Kit through my link and get up to 300 subscribers for free 👈

If you do nothing else but collect email addresses and prepare decent follow-up sequences you can improve your results by a huge amount. But it doesn't end there!

Build Logical Funnels

There are far too many companies that either don't have any kind of funnel strategy or have one short, rigid, dumb funnel that has to do all the heavy lifting.

Instead, I advise you build multi-faceted campaigns, focused around decision and inflection points.

Move your prospect from one milestone to the next until they buy or until you move them to the next sequence (and the next).

This way you show your opt-in what they demonstrate an interest in!

Each time they don't engage they are telling you something, and any time they do engage they are giving you important signals too.

When you track what your prospects are doing in response to your messages then you can confidently send them customized marketing messages based on that behavior.

Example decision points:

  • Read the article
  • Click to view the landing page
  • Download the checklist
  • Start the video / Finish the video
  • Live chat
  • Purchase
  • Purchase Upsell
  • Abandon cart

Getting More Engagement

Here is where we can increase our profits even more from people who say 'no'.

I always say "Questions are objections" - if we don't find out why people are saying 'no' then it is our fault if we don't improve.


Get feedback, do Q&As, run webinars, do live chat, surveys, however, you can get insights.

The more insights you get, the better tailored your messages, and the better response you will get.

When people stick around on your sequences, and they are clicking through to your articles, that means they didn't say "no" because they weren't interested, quite the opposite!

They felt like they were receiving very valuable and helpful content, otherwise, they would have unsubscribed or tuned you out. So why?

  • Laziness/Procrastination?
  • Need for more information?
  • Fear?

Driving More Engagement With Urgency and Scarcity

I once saw Frank Kern talk about how he improved response on one of his launches by using the logic features in his funnel software:

So instead of saying, "your access expires in three days", the email would say, "your access expires on Tuesday the 23rd.

I am sure you can imagine this would have really made a bunch of people sit up and take notice - it takes the "maybe tomorrow" option away from them.

Knowing time or seats will run out can be a big motivator.

Bottom Line

You can't rely on people just taking notice, and you can't assume lack of action means your offer isn't working:

"Fewer than 50% of videos two minutes long or less are watched in full"
-- Wistia

Always track what your prospects are doing and respond accordingly.

Most marketing campaigns have only one conversion point, they ask for the sale and take lack of response as a rejection. Instead, you should see your campaign as many micro-conversions, and you should ask for the actual sale a lot more!

Our job as marketers is to qualify our leads, to figure out who the most engaged prospects are then put the majority of our energy into them, but that does not mean we abandon anyone who is not engaged right now.

It's popular to say "the money is in the list" but a list on its own is inert, so in fact, the real wealth is in the follow-up.


Let me assume; A deeper look into this should mean rejections are really not rejection. They are objections in another form. Therefore a no is not always a rejection oftentimes but an objection.
The work of the marketer is to now know the proper way to address such objection.