The word “modest” is not usually associated with billionaire “Shark Tank” investor and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
In his 2013 book, “How to Win at the Sport of Business,” he writes that his favorite line is “No balls, no babies,” and that, “Once you are prepared and you think you have every angle of preparation covered, you have to go for it.”
In that same book, however, he says that many new entrepreneurs don’t realize there are proper ways to channel that drive, and one thing all founders need to realize is that you need to learn to accept no as an answer when the other side has made clear they have no interest in what you’re selling.
He points out three negative consequences of an entrepreneur’s excessive insistence:
1. You’re wasting both parties’ time.
“Always remember what I tell myself: ‘Every no gets me closer to a yes,'” Cuban writes. “You have to move on and start communicating with someone you know might buy your product rather than wasting more time with someone you already know won’t buy your product/service/idea.”
2. It hurts your image.
“The more you push someone who has said no, the more likely you are to appear desperate,” he says, “and that desperation impacts your brand as a salesperson and the brand of the product.”
3. It fosters fear and laziness.
As you continue trying to persuade someone who’s already made up their mind, Cuban says you go from a position of power to one of weakness.
“A smart, focused, and successful salesperson will gear up and do the homework necessary to find their next customer,” he writes. “That is a sign of confidence.”
In his own entrepreneurial career, Cuban says he’s made a habit of giving a standard reply to a no: He’ll politely thank the person for considering his product and will then ask what their specific objections were, and why they may have instead gone with a competing product. If he thinks he has a good counter, he’ll “let fly” to see how they react. If he gets another no, he thanks them and moves on.
“If you believe deeply in what you do, it is going to be fun and exciting to find your next customer and show off how amazing your products/service/idea is,” Cuban writes. “If the last person didn’t get it, that’s his or her problem. Not yours.”
Author: Richard Feloni
Richard covers management strategy and entrepreneurship for Business Insider. Richard joined BI in October 2013 and initially covered the advertising industry. He has written for publications in Boston and produced videos for The Wall Street Journal. Richard is an alumnus of Boston College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.