Keep your sales funnel clean. Instead of accepting a weak “no” or “maybe later” and keeping that person on your prospect list, try using the prospect’s “NO” to get one step closer to “YES.” Take a lesson from kids who have set their sights on a treat. It’s pretty hard to negotiate with an eight-year-old’s sweet tooth when you’re approaching a Dairy Queen. “Dad, can I have a cone?” “No, not until after dinner.” “I’m hungry. Can we eat dinner at Dairy Queen?” “No.” “Dad, I really need to eat right now. Can we eat right away?” “OK, we can stop at Dairy Queen.” “Dad, you always say that if I eat my meal, I can have a treat. I really like vanilla ice cream cones. Can I order that right away or should I get that after I finish dinner?” You’re going to be buying ice cream. Why? Pure persistence. She works one angle and then moves swiftly to another. Next thing you know, the two of you are waiting in line for a cone. Apply this technique to sales. If you receive a “no,” it’s feedback from the prospect that you haven’t found the right approach. Try a different angle and whittle away until you hit a nerve. Learn from your children—they’re here to teach you many lessons, and they are undaunted when it comes to turning a “no” into a “yes.” If you’ve forgotten how to be successfully, unabashedly persistent, study your kids.