While there are certainly times when No means No and it must be respected, such is not the case in a negotiation, sale, or interview. In these situations, No means Tell me more; at least that’s what you have to think if you want to close the deal, make the sale, or get the job.
One of the chapters in my book Get Back Up: From the Streets to Microsoft Suites talks about the time I spent as a life insurance salesman and the fact that I heard No a lot. Whether it was during a cold call on the phone or after a sales call in someone’s house, I heard No all the time. I heard it so much that I started to dread making the call or going to the appointment, but over time I learned that I was actually getting more sales from the people who said No than from the people who said nothing, and who in the end thanked me for my time and sent me on my way.