People who talk too much when they’re selling—people who try to tell their prospects everything that’s good about their product or service—often fail at selling. While they’re piling up all their wonderful features, the prospect is waiting to hear one thing she does not need. When she hears that one thing, it becomes her Reason to Reject — the reason that she does not need to do business with the seller!
Right now, in my office, hanging on the wall, is a ceramic radish. It’s there to remind me and my staff of the reality of Reason to Reject; it refers to an example I gave some years ago to a group of British executives:
Imagine that you’re making homemade spaghetti sauce. Ever done that? You’re mincing garlic, chopping onions—your hands smell bad for days afterward.
So imagine that you make spaghetti sauce tonight. Tomorrow, all day, you notice how your hands carry the smell of the onions and garlic. And then, when you get home, right there in your mailbox is an envelope that reads: “Do you ever make spaghetti sauce? VeggiEase chops onions and minces garlic in seconds—leaving no bad smell on your hands!”
You might think, I wish I’d had that device yesterday. And you would probably open the envelope.
Inside, you find a letter that reads: “In addition to using VeggiEase to help you with spaghetti sauce, if you like salads, you can use VeggiEase to slice cucumbers thinly in seconds!” And you might say, “Well, that would be okay. Cucumbers are okay.”
And if the next line of the letter read: “Do you like tomatoes on your salad? VeggiEase slices tomatoes in seconds, without crushing them!” You might say, “Well, that would be all right.”
And if the next line of the letter read: “Do you like radishes on your salad? Because VeggiEase makes radish roses in seconds!” You might say, “You know, I hate radishes!” and throw the entire mailing away.
That’s an example of Reason to Reject. You were tracking with the selling effort up until the moment that the radishes were mentioned. And then the fact that you don’t enjoy radishes became your Reason to Reject, even though all the other features of the device appealed to you—and the seller might think those radish roses are cool!