Start going for nos instead of yeses. Keep track of your nos and set goals for your nos. People are always afraid of failure and rejection, it’s time to embrace that. Join Michelle Weinstein as she talks to Andrea Waltz about embracing the go for no mindset. Andrea is a speaker, virtual trainer, and co-author of the bestselling book, Go for No: Yes is the Destination, No is How You Get There. Learn all about the no-awareness and how you can document your nos. Start setting no-goals instead of yes-goals. Take your leap of faith today and stop worrying about your failures.
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Go For The NO: Setting Your No-Goals And Taking The Leap Of Faith With Andrea Waltz
We have a very special guest. Our special guest is Andrea Waltz. She is the Cofounder of Courage Crafters and is the co-author of the bestselling book, Go for No! Yes Is the Destination, No Is How You Get There. For decades, Andrea has been teaching people in virtually every type of business and industry, how to think and feel differently about failure, rejection and the word no to achieve their goals and dreams. Go for No! is a well-known methodology in the world of sales and is widely recognized as the singular best program that deals with rejection in business.
I am very excited to welcome Andrea to the show. It is one of my favorite topics of being told no. I have a brand new masterclass that I talk about how to double and triple fees and how being rejected is a great thing. I work with accountants and tax pros on how to increase their monthly revenue there by a far simpler method than what you are currently doing, which could be discounting fees or even just doing some free work or having scope creep. If you want to check out my new masterclass, head on over to TheAbundantAccountant.com/masterclass. Make sure to register and watch. If you can’t make the time register anyway, and you will get a chance to watch the replay. Let’s welcome Andrea to the show.
Thank you so much, Michelle. I am so excited to be on with you.
Thank you so much for being here with us on the show. It is an honor to have you. If you could, can you share with all the readers who you are and why they should tune in to the show?
My name is Andrea Waltz. I am the co-author of the bestselling book, Go for No! Yes Is the Destination, No Is How You Get There. I have been an entrepreneur for many years and that happened by accident. My now-husband and business partner convinced me that we would be better off leaving our corporate jobs and going out on our own teaching our sales philosophies, customer service, management and training ideas outside rather than working inside the company. I agreed. I was naive enough luckily. That is a good skill to have whenever you want to launch out on your own.
That is what we have done. One of the concepts that we taught was this idea of, “Go for No.” We ended up writing a book about it and we teach this concept to sales professionals, business owners and entrepreneurs of all shapes, sizes and kinds. Anyone who has to face failure and rejection and has to hear no when it comes to building their business is who we help.
It’s great to have you here because I am all about that I had a whole podcast before called Success Unfiltered where all I did was interview large corporations, businesses, and entrepreneurs that have been rejected so many times to get to where they are at. I love how you said that no is how you get to the yes and the more no’s you hear, the better off you are.
It would be great to cover a little bit about what you teach and what you share in your book. Some high-level things, especially for those accounting and tax firm side hustle owners that might be readers or others who are in corporate when they are terrified of leaving their steady paycheck and completely nervous about where the next client is going to come from. In a corporate environment, you are just given work to do. Going out on your own, you get to face failure and rejection.
What is those main teaching that we can learn from? Everyone with your yellow pads or white notepads, have a pen and paper ready because Andrea is going to share with us something similar to what you have heard from me, but from a different point of view and someone who has been in corporate, went out on their own and had to face that fear and be naïve. A lot of people reading are researchers.As an entrepreneur, you are the one who has to go out and find the clients. You need to be willing to face rejections and failures. Click To Tweet
We are going to find a way to talk our way into staying in a job or thinking, “Why did I go out and do my firm? It might be easier just to have a job.” For you, Andrea, what do you feel is the biggest hurdle that business owners, also known as sales professionals, because if you own your firm, you have signed up for a 24/7 sales career, face as it relates to the failures and the rejections that they are going to see?
The first thing people have to recognize is that no one is coming to save you. That is the biggest lesson. When you set off on your own, and when you are an independent business owner or an entrepreneur, you are the one who has to go out and find the clients. What that requires is a tremendous amount of courage and willingness to face those rejections and those failures. Even when you do reach a certain level of success, you have also got to be willing to take some chances and take some risks, even in scaling up your business. I am sure you have readers who have had some success, but you get complacent, then before you know it, you are doing the same thing year after year.
It is like, “Maybe there are some higher-level clients.” Maybe there is some bigger fish out there that if you just went out there and approach them and say, “This is who I am. This is what I do. Can we meet? Can we set an appointment?” You would be able to even take your business to the next level. The reality is that we have to take responsibility for the fact that we are the rainmakers. We are the people that bring in the business when you are in your own business. That is the thing that scares a lot of people who are still in their corporate jobs is, “How does that look? What does that look like?” Those people want to know that is a sure thing. They want to know that there is not going to be a failure and they want those guarantees.
Unfortunately, there are no guarantees, especially when it comes to being in your own business. I can imagine that there are people out there who launched their business 30 days before COVID and all of a sudden, “This was not in my plan.” We get thrown for a loop sometimes and we have failures, but you pick yourself up, you dust yourself off and you come up with the best possible plan you can. At the end of the day, you have to have the courage to take that risk. When I left my corporate job, there was a weird feeling when you wake up in the morning and you realize, “Finally, there is no safety net. This is it.” If you want income and money to be coming through the door, you have got to go out and knock on some doors to find it.
It is a different feeling when you finally make the leap. There is that cliché saying about, “You jump off a cliff and you will build your wings on the way down.” There is truth and power to that because you are forced to. Only when you are really living it can you only plan, strategize and make notes for so long. Eventually, you have to take the risk. Michelle, before we go any further, I do want to share with the readers a story of how to Go for No! came about. I am going to warn everybody. This is a story about clothing sales. I know that it does not have anything to do with accounting, but this is how Richard, my husband, discovered Go for No! He told me this story when we were still working in our jobs.
It was the thing that made me realize the power of the word no. The story is he was working in automotive fleet sales for his dad in Chicago. He absolutely hated it. His father was a sales legend. He decided he wanted to get out of his father’s sales legend shadow. He moved to Los Angeles. He gets a job selling suits for a living, and he is failing. The district manager, this guy named Harold, is scheduled to visit the store. My husband, Richard, is pretty sure that when Harold comes in, if he can sell really well in front of this guy, they will give him some time to improve his sales.
The day comes, Richard shows up and Harold is there, this district manager. They opened the doors to the store and this customer walked in. He announces that he wants to buy an entire wardrobe of clothing. My husband, Richard, proceeds to take care of this man and sell him a suit, a sports coat, pants, slacks, belt and pocket square. He got it all. This is way back. The sale came to $1,100. This was in the like mid-‘80s when my husband was a really young guy.
He has this great sale, which now would be spending about $5,000. Harold finally comes over and now my husband is thinking that Harold is going to congratulate him and tell him what a fabulous job he did with this customer. Instead, Harold asks him this question. He said, “Richard, out of curiosity, what did that customer say no to?” Richard is like, “What do you mean, Harold? That customer bought a suit and a sports coat and all of these things. It was $1,100. It was this huge sale.” Harold said, “I know what he bought. That is the easy part. What did that customer say no to?”
Richard had to admit, he is like, “Everything I laid in front of that guy, he bought.” Harold asked him a really important question. He said, “How did you know he was done?” He had to admit that how he knew the customer was done was that customer hit his mental spending limit. The guy was saying yes to everything. Richard was showing things and then when he got to about $1,100 since that was his limit.
It was his limiting belief that he limited his potential sale to his customer in front of them that might have bought ten versions of that set.
Exactly. He brings the sale up. He sends the customer on his way and Harold is like, “I watched you sell, you are not half bad, but your fear of the word no is going to kill you. If you could just learn to get over that, I think you could be one of the great ones.” Richard went home that night and he says this all the time when we speak, “I realized I was two letters from greatness and the letters were NO. I did not know if I had what it took to succeed, but I knew I had what it took to fail more. I could hear no more often I could show more products and services to customers, be willing to hear no more often and that would lead me to more sales success.”
That is exactly what he did. He ended up having a great career in clothing and other retail companies. That is when we finally met. Michelle, he told me that story and I was a superstar salesperson, but when I heard that story, I was like, “I do not like hearing the word no. If I could just get more comfortable with it, I could probably do better as well.” That has been our mission ever since.
That is one of the stories we tell. It is important to know that you may not be selling in retail and most people are not selling clothing these days, but it is instructive. There are a lot of lessons to pull out. The one that you picked up on, was, “He had this belief. He had this limiting spending limit,” which a lot of business owners do.When you take your leap of faith, you'll build wings on the way down. Click To Tweet
They come up with their fees and they think, “This is the best I can do. I can get $100 an hour and that is the best I can do. I can charge $500 for tax prep that is the highest I can charge.” You are the one who is coming up with these limiting beliefs on your fees. That is a big lesson. The other lessons that are embedded in that story are other products and services.
There is a tendency on the part of a lot of business owners who have specialties. You might have a specialty in one area of accounting or do general services, but do your clients and future clients know everything that you have to offer or are you just trying to get that one yes? You are not saying, “This is everything I can do. I can help your business this way. I can help your business that way.” Get some more no’s within that which does not require you going out and prospecting for any new business. It is just getting no’s from current clients.
I talk about this all the time and it is in my brand new masterclass. I talk about how to raise fees 200% to 300% to your current clients without getting any new clients. That is exactly what I launched. It is an easy thing to talk about. Your husband said that at $1,100, he has got what he needs. That was based on what he thought. What is the next thing with that story that you would teach something different to offer a current client more services to bring more value to them?
If we were selling clothes like in your story, let’s still use the story because relating it to an actual experience is very powerful. What, Andrea, is the next step to take to get more noes to see if he can sell $5,000 of clothes during that time, back in the day? What is that next technique that you speak on and teach on that someone reading can implement and try and watch what results come from it?
It is a two-step process. First, you need to do an assessment of where you are. We call this creating a no awareness. Where are you now in your current hearing the word no? For example, if you go back to the story, Richard was doing everything within his power not to hear no. He got a few yeses and he is like, “Great. I am done.” How often are you hearing the word no in prospecting for new clients and working with your current clients? Are you getting any pushback to fees? It is a signal that you are asking at a higher level. If you are not getting any pushback then people are saying yes, and it is easy. That may feel great. You feel like, “I do not have any conflict,” but you are not maximizing your potential.
You dig way into the psychology of that and the stuff that you teach, which is super cool because there is so much psychology to that in terms of asking for your fees. Step one is creating the no awareness, but step two is really powerful and that is to set a no goal. It is very simple. We all set typical yes goals in our business and that is a goal for the number of yeses you are going to get. There are so many aspects to setting yes goals. You could have a revenue goal. Some people might have a goal to meet with 1 or 2 new clients a week, knowing that a certain number of those will convert. However, you want to look at it.
When you set a no goal, it is setting a goal for the number of noes that you are going to hear in a given week. It could be that you are setting that no goal within a meeting or within a conversation with a client or it could be for both meetings and appointments to get new clients and with currently existing clients. When you set a no-goal, it keeps you in action. You are focused on the behaviors necessary to impact your business. In this case, the goal is to ask the questions that you know convert clients, whether it is sitting down with a client, having a meeting and saying, “Would you like to go ahead and sign up for my service? These are the two plans. These are the two options.”
You get a no or you get a yes, and then, “Here are the other services.” You show those. Maybe you get a couple of noes. Maybe you do not. You collect noes throughout the week. At the end of this process, what you find is you typically have far more yeses because you are focused on the behaviors necessary of going for no.
I have never tracked my noes, but I am sure it is a ton. For each person to bring a focus on that and especially with this new year and going into a new quarter, by the time everyone is reading this and not having to deal with another tax season like you are dealing with. What if you were to charge what you wanted from a client? We played a game and asked so many clients.
We asked to raise fees and change things for the next year, got new engagement letters signed, new invoices paid and count how many noes you get. The clients that I have worked with, Andrea, that have done this, the amount of noes is pretty small. They have gotten more yeses and were in shock that clients would pay 200% or 300% or sometimes 400% of wherever they are at without even blinking an eye.
Part of that, Michelle, is having that courage to ask. If somebody is reading this right now, whether you are an entrepreneurial type of accountant, you have your own accounting firm, or you are even in a corporate environment, you can set and achieve your no goals, but the biggest detriment to that is making assumptions. A lot of times in order to protect ourselves from that rejection to not have to deal with it, to not have to feel it, to not have to feel that fear, we come up with all of these assumptions of, “My clients can’t afford that. They are never going to pay that. They have paid X amount for the last twelve years.” If that is true, then it is time you raise your feet.
I would be curious to know, what was your husband’s assumption back then when he was selling these clothes? Why did he stop at $1,100? What was it for him?
People often assume that because we wrote Go for No!, that we must be these fearless people who have no problem with rejection or failure. Richard and I did not like to hear the word no. We needed this message. Otherwise, we could not explain it to other people. His biggest assumption was, “I do not want this customer to get annoyed with me and think I am being that pushy, aggressive salesperson. I am going to not share these additional things. I am not going to put this stuff out here for him because he will just assume that that is the way I am being.” He had such a fear of that. That is what he did. It is that kind of assumption.Whenever you're suggesting something to your client, you have to tie it to what you've managed to gather about them. Click To Tweet
The best way that we found to get around that assumption though, is to always, whenever you are suggesting something to your client, you have to tie it to what you have heard and what you have managed to gather and what you know about them. It is not just, “I have got this new service.” You are adding in a payroll function or something. It is not just, “Do you want this new payroll add-on? It is going to cost you another $80 every two weeks.” It is, “You are probably running ragged. You are probably tired of doing your own payroll. It is a hassle and if mistakes are made, then it is a real hassle to fix mistakes. I have lived through this, Michelle, so I know this personally. Here is why I recommend that you add this on to our current service.”
When you tie in the reason why you are adding something on, it goes a long way in helping clients understand that it is not just that you are selling something additional. There are reasons behind it. That helps break down some of the fear that people have that, “This person is just going to think I am selling for no reason.”
Everyone has that fear. You do not want to be that annoying, pushy salesperson. You do not want to bother anybody, especially our current clients. For everyone reading, we also have the fear that we do not want our clients to leave us. If we do not want our current clients to leave us, then Andrea, this is going to be a more challenging question, but it is an important one.
This all sounds fine and dandy, but what if those fears are so much greater than what the opportunity is from the current mindset or the current point of view from the firm owner or the current point of view from that accounting or tax pro sitting in a corporate cubicle right now reading this saying, “Andrea, it sounds great, but I can’t afford that. I can’t do that. I do not have the leverage to invest in my business now.” I don’t know the mind trick you did to go out on your own. I know I can’t work for anybody. It was very black and white for me. For a lot of people, it is a pretty gray area. We go back and forth like a yo-yo. Up, down, sideways, every which way and then we just stay comfortable.
You have two things. You have got that fear. First of all, fear of loss is the most powerful and greatest fear. If you have got a certain number of clients, the last thing you want to do is lose them. As you said, I think you have identified the heart of it. The big issue with our brains though is that we have to stand back and remind ourselves, we are biologically wired in our DNA to have fears that are almost to the point of irrational. The reason for that is to keep us fed, clothed, and surviving. Your brain is always going to have and come up with far worse scenarios and fears that are not going to show up in reality.
It is really important when you start thinking like, “I am going to lose half of my clients. I am going to be destitute tomorrow. I am going to be living under the freeway overpass tomorrow.” That is not true. That is just your brain trying to get you in action. The other thing to couple with that, a lot of this is like, “What is the skill? What is the action step?” There is not a lot of action when you are talking about fear except to deal with it in your mind.
It does not go anywhere. The only way to take action is to say, “Fear, I see you, but you have to step to the side so I can access courage.” That will help you take steps into doing some of the things that Andrea talked about, which are the main two things that everyone should do. Take an inventory of your noes and track your noes. The other thing is, write out your current awareness of your current hearing of no. What do they do on that one step? Do you have people rate it from 1 to 10? Can you share the actionable steps for those that want to step into courage and set for your side? If you want to live in fear, honestly, Andrea and I can’t help.
Unlike you, I had always worked for other people and I had never considered being an entrepreneur until my husband had approached me and was telling me all of this. It seemed to me to be crazy. I had an employee mindset. I did not have an entrepreneur mindset. I had always worked for other people. It was very odd to me and weird.
After we left and we were setting things up, I realized I was better off and that my situation in life, whatever I was going to do, taking that step would still have me in a better place. It would be worth it even if I crashed and burned. I realized that I would rather have let go clinging to something that I was truly unhappy with and that whatever came down the line would be better, even if this dream of doing this business with him did not work out.
You have to have a certain amount of faith in yourself and belief that, “It is going to work out either way.” You want it to work. You want to do everything you can, but sometimes it is worth taking the leap that is. That is the one hand, but back to your question about the no awareness, Michelle. Setting the no goals is step number two. That is where you say, “I am going to set a goal.” To your point of going back to your current clients with a new fee schedule, “I am going to set a goal to hear 25 noes. I am going to go out to 25% of my clients with this new proposal and with these new fees and see if I can collect 25 noes.”
If you do not, then congratulations. You did not hit your no goal, but congratulations. That means you got a lot of yeses. You win either way. Step one, backing up before that, is to create a no awareness. You track how many noes you are hearing without setting a goal. How many meetings are you having per week? How many noes did you have for your offers? How many opportunities and I call these Go for No! moments, were you executing? How many clients did you email? How many things did you set out to send out?
Whatever your method of communication is, where someone had to make a decision and you collected either a yes, no or oftentimes, we do not hear anything, but at least we can look at the responses and then break it down. There are people that do not hear any noes because they are doing such little activity. They are doing such little activity in their business. They are going after one client. They say, “I know this person is going to say yes to me. I will call them back. I will follow up.”
The easy one where they can’t crash and burn.
The easy yes. The incoming lead. The referral from their cousin. That was the easy one. They go like, “I got a yes this week. I did not hear any noes.” That is what I mean by no awareness. To the extent that you can document that, all the better because then you can look back on that and say, “60, 90 days ago, I was not hearing no at all. Now this month, I collected 25.” In collecting those 25 noes, how many yeses did you get?
That was step number two. The first step to take action on is to identify your current hearing of no and do a reflection exercise.
It depends on how nerdy you want to get with it. If you are a numbers analytical person, which I know a lot of people reading this probably are, then document it. Let’s say, “I got one now. I got two yesterday. I got none the next day.” Look it for at least seven days, give yourself a benchmark, then the next week, set a no goal based on what you assessed. A lot of people that I have worked with over the years, Michelle, do a reflection. A lot of us are very good with our yeses. If I asked the average salesperson in any industry, “How many yeses did you get this week?” They would be able to say, “I closed 4 sales or 14.” Most people have no idea how many noes they heard.
This was such a great conversation. It is a different perspective. I did all these interviews from April of 2017 to about 2019 on my other podcast, all about this exact topic of being rejected and being told no. It was not in the accounting space. It was in all types of different business owners and big ones that some of us know like Justin’s Peanut Butter and a lot of huge brands to hear what they had to overcome for us to say that these are foods that we eat, brands that we use or apps that we use on our phones.
They did not get there without figuring out their blueprint of how they hear a no and what their current level of hearing is. God knows how many noes were on their goals for the week. Andrea, thank you so much for being here with us on the show. It was an honor to have you here. Is there anything else that you want to share that we didn’t touch on this specific topic? We can always schedule another time for part two.
It was so much fun for me to talk to you because you live this message of embracing rejection as part of the process. That is really what it is. There are ways of reducing the number of noes you hear. Scripting and quality matter, but at the end of the day, oftentimes it comes down to having the courage to ask. That is the message that I would leave people is to have that courage and check your assumptions because oftentimes, they are faulty. They are just trying to protect you. That is your brain protecting you.
Thank you for being here. Thank you for reminding us that our brains are here to protect us and remember that if fear is in the way, we can’t access courage. This all requires courage. Something has to go put it to sleep, have your fear take a nap for a little while to see what kind of courage comes out and what results you get from seeing that courage. Thank you again, it is an honor to have you here and we will do part two soon.
What an amazing episode with Andrea. There is so much goodness in there. For each person, if you are not going to do anything that we shared and set fear to the side and put courage at full play, at least do a current assessment of your hearing of no. Do you have an awareness of it? Grab your journal, grab your notepad, grab your pen, and think about, “How do I feel when I hear no? How often do I hear it?” For next month, you can come up with a great goal for yourself on all of those Go for No! moments because I love how she said, “The no is how we get there and yes is the destination.” We all want to hear yes from our clients, but we also want to hear yes at the premium fees that we want to charge.
We do not want to charge low fees or feel like a commodity anymore. If you need help with that, I have talked about that as one of the biggest shifts in my new masterclass that you can register for at TheAbundantAccountant.com/masterclass because of discounting fees, getting as many clients as possible and sending out quotes, and hoping that they are going to contact you might be a great strategy for those that want to work harder and with a lot more struggle. The simple fact is, is the clients that I work with triple their base fees. They are charging higher fees. They are getting paid premiums and upfront with no accounts receivable.
If you want to learn how they do that, head on over to TheAbundantAccountant.com/masterclass, make sure to register and watch. I have a special offer at the end for you all. If you can’t make the time of the webinar, just make sure to register, and I will send you the replay. You will get the replay. It is an investment of about 45 minutes, but it will provide a lifetime of increased revenue for your firm without working more hours or taking on any more clients. I look forward to seeing you there.
- Courage Crafters
- Go for No! Yes Is the Destination, No Is How You Get There
- Success Unfiltered
About Andrea Waltz
Andrea Waltz is the co-founder of Courage Crafters, Inc. and co-author of the best-selling book, Go for No! Yes is the Destination, No is How You Get There. For almost two decades, Andrea has been teaching people in virtually every business and industry how to think and feel differently about failure, rejection, and the word “no” to achieve their goals and dreams.
Today, “go for no” is a well-known methodology in the world of sales and widely recognized as the singular best program that deals with rejection in business.