From No to Yes: Persuading Purchasers with the 3Ps Methodology


The following is tailored from the current ebook Small Actions: Leading Your Career to Big Success, by Eric Sim, CFA, and Simon Mortlock.

Nobody likes rejection. Which is why, through the years, I’ve developed a three-step course of to rework conditions from hopeless to hopeful. I name it the 3Ps method:

  1. Perseverance
  2. Perspective
  3. Positivity

Let me offer you some examples of easy methods to put the 3Ps into motion.

Leaving by 7 pm

Getting a desk on a weekend at a few of Hong Kong’s hottest eating places can really feel, with solely delicate exaggeration, like profitable the lottery. But hope springs everlasting, and like all these individuals who patiently queue up at lottery counters hoping to purchase the profitable ticket, I can’t assist however strive my luck at my favourite Italian restaurant chain. Its thin-crust pizzas and aglio e olio pasta are simply that impossible to resist. My household likes to have Sunday dinner on the busy Kennedy Town department. Of course, we normally make spur-of-the-moment choices to go, and it’s all however unimaginable to order a desk on the identical day. But that’s the place the 3Ps got here in.

One Sunday afternoon, I known as the restaurant.

“Good afternoon!” a girl with a cheerful voice answered.

“Do you will have a desk for 4 tonight?” I requested hopefully.

“No sir, we’re totally booked,” she replied with a tinge of remorse.

“How about at 6 pm?” I countered.

“Sir, we’re totally booked,” she repeated, in all probability pondering, “Which a part of ‘totally booked’ do you not perceive, sir?”

But I wasn’t deterred. “What if we depart by 7 pm?” I requested.

There was a slight pause on the opposite finish of the road. “Let me test,” she mentioned. A couple of seconds later, she replied, “Yes sir, we now have a desk.”

I used the 3Ps to vary her thoughts. Here’s the way it works:

Perseverance: Show Your Effort

I didn’t cling up after she mentioned “totally booked.” Instead, I got here up with a counter proposal. When I prompt leaving the restaurant early, I confirmed her I could possibly be versatile on timing.

Perspective: Understand the Other Person’s Priority

The restaurant worker’s essential concern wasn’t catering to my wants; it was guaranteeing that clients who had reservations had been seated by the allotted time. She didn’t care whether or not I wished a desk to have fun my baby’s birthday or my boss’s resignation. Getting offended, saying how a lot enterprise I’d given the restaurant, or threatening by no means to go there once more weren’t going to work along with her. Instead, I helped her do her job by providing her the restaurant hostess equal of an choices commerce in finance. I gave her a contract establishing her proper (however not obligation) to chase me out at 7 pm.

But that Sunday night time, I wasn’t shooed away: The restaurant had sufficient room, so the choice holder didn’t have to train her choice.


Call me an everlasting optimist, however I all the time hope I can flip a state of affairs from unfavorable to favorable. Many individuals would have given up at “we’re totally booked.” Not me. I sought a compromise that was a win–win resolution for either side. The restaurant isn’t full through the early night, so I helped it use its sources extra effectively.

Image of Eric Sim, CFA, delivering a presentationEric Sim, CFA, explains easy methods to flip rejection into acceptance.
Image courtesy of Eric Sim, CFA

Can I Drop By?

The skill to vary a “no” to a “sure” is much more vital in our careers.

When I used to be working for a financial institution, a company consumer primarily based in Taipei requested for a renminbi (RMB) development mortgage to construct an workplace tower in Shanghai. This was a 10-year mortgage, and my colleague from the loans division priced it accordingly, utilizing the People’s Bank of China’s (PBOC’s) five-year or longer price, which was then 5.94%.

In the cutthroat world of finance, that wasn’t sufficient. Another financial institution provided the consumer a extra “artistic” mortgage construction. Instead of the usual 10-year mortgage, the financial institution proposed a six-month association that will be regularly prolonged till the mortgage was paid off on the finish of 10 years. This shorter mortgage interval had a a lot decrease rate of interest of 4.86%.

My colleague got here to me for recommendation on easy methods to resurrect the deal. I prompt a mortgage in US {dollars} (USD) in addition to a USD–RMB foreign money hedge to create an artificial RMB mortgage with an all-in rate of interest of 4.5%. It was cheaper than the opposite financial institution’s supply however was nonetheless a 10-year mortgage. We proposed our resolution to the consumer’s finance staff. They appreciated it and submitted the concept to their CFO. The suggestions was optimistic.

I had saved the deal! Or so I assumed.

Every week later, the consumer informed us that they couldn’t settle for our proposal. Their CFO had already verbally dedicated to the opposite financial institution earlier than he heard our revolutionary supply. We had been devastated. I couldn’t perceive why the consumer had gone with our competitor’s pricier resolution, so I requested if I may “drop by” for a espresso assembly in Taipei.

Over our lattes, I defined that underneath Mainland rules, banks in China weren’t allowed to cost a long-term development mortgage utilizing the six-month PBOC lending price. Should the “artistic” financial institution run into hassle with the regulator, its purchasers could possibly be impacted. The finance supervisor from the consumer agency took what I mentioned to coronary heart. I left the assembly and flew again to Hong Kong the identical afternoon. The subsequent day, the consumer known as to say we’d gained the deal. Again, the 3Ps labored.

Trust Study Tile

Perseverance: Show Your Effort

I continued to have interaction with the consumer even after they turned down our resolution.

Perspective: Understand the Person’s Priority

There had been two potential “no’s” right here. First, the consumer may have refused to take the face-to-face assembly. Had I careworn the enterprise journey was simply to see them, they may have turned down the assembly. Taking it may need made them really feel obligated to reverse their resolution.

But once I requested, “Can I drop by?” they didn’t really feel as pressured. I gave them the choice to say they weren’t going to vary their mortgage resolution. This brings me to the second potential “no.” I came upon through the assembly that the CFO would lose face if he withdrew his dedication to the opposite financial institution with out justification. A greater supply was not sufficient. But by highlighting the compliance danger of the competing proposal, I gave him a means out. A probably noncompliant financing construction wasn’t a danger price taking.


Despite having the door slammed shut after our competitor gained the mortgage mandate, I nonetheless made the journey to Taipei and remained hopeful I may do a deal.

Financial Analysts Journal Current Issue Tile

That’s the lesson of the 3Ps. We obtain extra rejections than approvals throughout our lives. People will say “no” to us greater than they are saying “sure.”

But to realize huge issues, the 3Ps methodology might help to influence others, flip no’s to yeses, and reject rejection.

For extra tips about profession and private improvement please discuss with Small Actions: Leading Your Career to Big Success, by Eric Sim, CFA, and his co-author Simon Mortlock.

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All posts are the opinion of the creator. As such, they shouldn’t be construed as funding recommendation, nor do the opinions expressed essentially replicate the views of CFA Institute or the creator’s employer.

Image credit score: ©Getty Images/zhihao

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Eric Sim, CFA

A key opinion chief on LinkedIn, Eric Sim, CFA, is the creator of the ebook Small Actions: Leading Your Career to Big Success. He based the Institute of Life with a mission to coach younger professionals to achieve success at work and in life. Previously, when primarily based in Hong Kong, Sim served as a managing director at UBS Investment Bank and an adjunct affiliate professor of finance at HKUST. Check out his visible CV and its notable failures right here.


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