Why You Should Salute When You Hear ‘No’

I’m often asked how many times someone should attempt to persuade another person before acknowledging a “no.”

Now, you shouldn’t ignore that “no” or refuse to hear it. But you also shouldn’t easily give up.

My typical response to the above question has come to be known among clients as “the platinum rule of persuasion,” because it works so well: Take two shots, and then salute.

What do I mean by this? If your target says “no” once, reformulate and try again. If, after your second attempt, the target’s response is still “no,” salute and move on.

Of course, I’m not suggesting you actually engage in the physical act of saluting. And I certainly don’t want you to flip the one-finger salute! But a salute in its most traditional form is a display of respect.

In persuasion situations, a “salute” should be an acknowledgement of your target’s opinion and an expression of gratitude for listening to your pitch: “I value your input and respect your decision. Perhaps we can revisit this topic again in the future. For now, though, thanks for your time and consideration.”

You can try again some other day.

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