How To Close Up To 75% Of Prospects Who Say NO

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The above image captures the exact process I use to close up to 75% of prospects who originally say NO to my proposals.

In this article I’d like to take a deep dive through each step of the process. It’s something I’ve perfected over the years and can be applied instantly by ANYONE who delivers a service and sends proposals to acquire new clients.

That said, let’s start at the beginning…

Step #1: Attract The Right
Types Of Clients

The first step in making this all work is making sure you’re attracting the right type of client in the first place. After all if you’re talking to unqualified, unfiltered clients, it doesn’t matter HOW good of an offer you make. Something will feel “off” and they’ll say no regardless what your offer is!

Attraction all comes down to one single thing.

Knowing EXACTLY who it is that you can help.

Not a vague idea. Not a general concept.

The EXACT type of client.

Let me give you an example.

Let’s say you’re selling website design services.

At first, you just take on any old client. Some might be startup companies while others might be 7 or 8 figure companies. Some might be in the health industry, while others are in the financial sector.

See the problem with that?

When you’re sending proposals you won’t be able to give a specific end result. You won’t be able to tell them EXACTLY what you can do for them and why YOU are the only person to deliver that type of result. In other words, the offer you give them will be just like all the others.


A general pitch is going to say something like…

“Mr. Prospect, I’ll build and design your website for $3,500. First I’ll send you a wireframe, you’ll approve it, then I’ll build it and send it to you for final approval. Sound good?”


Instead, you take the time to figure out how to attract only those clients who are a perfect fit for who you can help.

So instead of “any website”, NOW…

… you’re a design conversion specialist who works for e-commerce companies doing over $500,000 and want to increase their sales through better design by at least 20%.

See how much better that is?

So now you attract those companies and when your send your proposals it says something like…

“Mr Prospect, I’m not just going to build you a website… I’m going to use my 7-step conversion framework that’s guaranteed to increase your sales by at least 20%, or your money back. That means you’re guaranteed to see your sales jump by at least $100,000 this year or you don’t pay a thing. The best part is, my fee is only $10,000, so it’s a guaranteed 10x ROI for you.”

Much better!

If you’re an e-commerce store and got both of those proposals, which would YOU pick?

I guarantee you’d go with the latter, even though it’s 3.5x more expensive!

But here’s the thing.

In order to do this, you absolutely MUST…

Step #2: Pre-Qualify Leads
Before Talking To Them

In order to have such a crazy guarantee, you have to make sure that the people you choose to take on are pre-qualified and that you’re 100% certain you can help them.

If you know exactly who it is that you can help, you also therefore know exactly who you can’t help. If people don’t fit your criteria, they do not become clients. It’s as simple as that.

That’s why you have lead qualification and filtering systems in place to make sure that when you do speak with someone on the phone, they’re qualified to actually work with YOU.

If they’re not, you simply tell them that you only work with certain types of clients and if you worked with them you couldn’t guarantee the results because you have a specific process for a specific type of person.

Most people will LOVE you for telling them this.


Because all your leads care about is the end result. They don’t care about you. Sorry. They want an end result, whether it’s you doing it, or someone else.

So if they aren’t a fit, you have a system in place to find them a better fit.

(Quick hint: Form strategic alliances with 5-10 people and get referral fees. In many cases you can pay for most of your marketing simply from that!)

And brings me right to my next point…

Step #3: Understand The End Result
They Want To Achieve

This is what pricing is all about.

The end result, and how likely you are to get it for them.


The deeper you understand exactly what they want, and how you can get it to them in a unique way, the more clients you’ll close and the higher fees you can charge.

See the example above where it was a no-brainer to go with the more expensive option?

That’s because that person understands the end result.

It’s NOT about the “service” you provide.

It’s about the end result they expect you to give.

  • If you’re a copywriter – it’s NOT about your words… it’s about the conversion increase.
  • If you’re an SEO agency – it’s NOT about “ranking higher”… it’s about ranking for the right keywords (HUGE distinction!) which lead to tangible sales.
  • If you’re a personal trainer – it’s NOT about losing weight… it’s about the mental and physical transformation they’ll go through, and how they’ll FEEL because of it.

See the difference?

And once you really nail this, it’s then time to move onto sending your proposal…

Step #4: Framing The Proposal So
They Don’t “Disappear”

If you have the right systems in place, you should not be getting prospects who “disappear” and never respond to your proposals. MOST coaches, consultants, and service providers deal with this, but you shouldn’t be.

You don’t deserve that kind of treatment!

To avoid this, you have to frame the proposal the right way and make sure the client understands that when you send a proposal, you expect an answer back from them.

In other words, yes or no is fine… maybe is not.

If you set expectations upfront, the vast majority of people will follow them. People, even entrepreneurs, enjoy being told what to do. It makes us feel comfortable and safe. Making our own decisions is risky.

You can frame the proposal either when talking to someone on hte phone, OR in the proposal itself. I recommend both.

For example, I recommend not even creating a proposal unless that prospect understands exactly what your rules are. One of mine is that they MUST give me an answer. I confirm with them, on the phone, that I fully expect a yes or no answer. There are no maybe’s.

Almost 100% will agree – and abide – by this rule.

(If they don’t agree, you get off the phone and do not send a proposal)

You can come up with your own rules of course. The important point is that you enforce them to save yourself time and energy and display your authority.

For now we’ll assume that they agreed. After that, it’s time to…

Step #5: Send Your Proposal
Offering Your High-End Service

This step is simple.

You follow all the steps and make sure you fully articulate exactly what you can do for them, how much it is, why it’s such a no-brainer, and why you are the perfect fit for what they need.

If you want to take this up a notch, you can also do things like…

  • Create mindmaps laying out the exact process…
  • Put everything in a professionally designed proposal template…
  • Add additional proof elements to your proposal…

… and many other options.

But let’s say, just for arguments sake, that even after ALL this, they still say no.

Then what?

Step #6: Ask What They’d Pay
If They First Say No

Let’s pretend you went through all these steps, and sent your next proposal. The morning after you send the proposal, you wake up and check your email. As you’re scanning it you see the subject line…

Re: Proposal

Then in the preview bar you see the words…

“I’m sorry, but that’s out of our budget right now…”

So you open the email and read the whole thing. It says…

“I’m sorry, but that’s out of our budget right now. We would like to work with you but your proposal was just too far out of our budget for right now. It’s a little too risky for us because we’ve never worked with you before.”

Ouch! There goes that new piece of jewelry you promised your wife! The vacation you were dying to take! The new 15 foot HD TV you were drooling over!

Most people would stop here.

They’d be crushed.

Probably torment themselves and be miserable the rest of the day.

But not you.

YOU… my friend… are going to save the sale!

And that’s where this comes in…

Step #7: Offer To Prove Yourself
For 1/3 – 1/2 The Cost

If they somehow had a lapse in judgement and just couldn’t come to grips with how insanely awesome you were, you ask one simple question…

“What were you expecting to pay?”

Those 6 beautiful little words can do WONDERS for re-opening a conversation you thought was dead. And for sucking that prospect back in to reconsider working for you.

They’ll typically respond with a certain number.

Now of course, SOMETIMES that number is absurdly low and they were just a bad fit. It rarely happens if you have everything else in place, but it does happen.

But MOST of the time they’ll come back with a number roughly 1/3 – 1/2 of what you proposed.

So then you say this…

“Ok, how about this, Mr. Prospect. How about I prove myself to you first? We can do X, X and X which keeps you under your budget but allows me to show you that I can get you results. Granted it won’t be the full result, but you’ll get a taste of what I can do for you and we’ll see if we like working together. If we both find the relationship mutually beneficial, we then finish the rest of my proposal. Reasonable enough?”


That prospect is now yours.

How could anybody resist that offer?

The truth is, very few can or do. That’s why you’ll find roughly 75% of people say yes to that downsell.

And then it’s onto the next step…

Step #8: Get Them Quick Results
To Prove Yourself

I highly suggest having some kind of “quick win” system in place for when this happens.

When it does, you then run them through your system to get them quick results. Keep in mind you’re not attempting to get them the full result they’d get it they invested in your high-end package.

This is just a simple test to give them confidence in your skills to help them.

If it doesn’t work out, no biggie! They can find someone else.

But if it does…

Step #9: You Finish The Original Project
At The Original Fee

The final step, of course, is going back to them and showing them the results you got them and asking them to finish the original project so you can get them the full results.

In my experience you’ll close another  50% – 75% of prospects who originally told you no but then gave you a shot at a smaller project.


Because MOST people who ask for a proposal are sincerely interested… if you position yourself correctly. When a prospect says no it’s because “something” didn’t match up. At that point, their excitement in you dies and they believe it’s over.

Then you do what I just shared with you, and it re-engages them and re-excites them.

See how easy that is?

Here’s the thing…

This Is 1 Of About A Billion Strategies
I Can Teach You…

This is just a tiny sample of what I show my clients and coaches how to do.

If you got value out of it, you’ll be glad to know that I’m opening up a handful of spaces in my calendar where I’ll dig into YOUR business and show you how to add a minimum of $10,000 to your bottom-line over the next 30 days, or I’ll send you a check for $250 for wasting your time!

Go here for more details.

Jeremy Reeves
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Jeremy Reeves

Jeremy Reeves is the founder of CEO of Get Dream Clients. We help service providers stand out to make your competitors completely irrelevant. Click here to see how we can help you raise your fees, attract more clients and automate your marketing.

2 thoughts on “How To Close Up To 75% Of Prospects Who Say NO”

    1. Hi Sage,

      I actually work with business owners. It sounds like you might be an employee so it wouldn’t be the right fit. But thanks for reading!

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