“Go For No!” Book Review & Top 34 Richard Fenton Quotes

I recently read the book Go for No! Yes Is the Destination, No Is How You Get There by Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz.

I learned about this book while I was doing some shopping on Amazon. It had so many positive reviews I figured I would check it out and see what it was all about.

Overall, I give this book a 10 of 10 and consider it a must read for anyone in the sales profession. It’s one of my top three favorite sales training books of all time. It would also benefit anyone who owns their own business. It’s absolutely epic! It’s written in parable format, so it’s really easy to follow and fun to read. Throw in the great training and content and you have a winning one-two combination!

go for no

Top Richard Fenton Quotes

What I want to do in the paragraphs below is share some of my favorite quotes from the book.  Each quote is in bold and italics.  After each quote I will add in my own two cents.  Enjoy.

# 1: The salesperson never decides when the sale is over; the customer does. 

You never know when your customer is going to buy from you. It’s your job as the salesperson to overcome objections and keep attempting the close until they tell you to stop. Most people will say no several times before they actually buy from you.

# 2: Your fear of hearing the word ‘no’ is the only thing standing between you and greatness. 

NO is simply a stepping stone to get a YES. You shouldn’t be scared of rejection. You are going to get more rejection than you are going to get YES’s. That’s just part of sales. Embrace the NO’s and get excited about them, rather than letting a NO stop you.

# 3: Failure was the halfway mark on the road to success, not a destination to be avoided but rather a stepping stone to get what I really wanted in life. 

Most people think that failure is bad. Heck, we’ve been taught to think that way in school. However, failure is a normal part of success. You have to fail before you can succeed. Don’t be scared to fail. Look at it as part of your journey to success. You won’t reach success UNTIL you fail many times over. Ultimately, you fail, and fail, and fail, UNTIL you succeed. Fail forward!

# 4: Successful people fail eagerly while failures avoid failing. 

Once again, we’ve all been taught that failing is bad. Successful people know they are going to fail nine or ten times before they succeed. That’s why they get excited about each failure.  Each time they get a NO, they’re one step closer to their goal.

# 5: I fail big and I fail often.

If you know failing is part of succeeding, it just makes sense to fail as often as you can, and do it in a big way. Go after the big accounts, your dream prospects. Even if just 1 in 10 of them tell you YES, you can get HUGE results.

# 6: Courage is acting in the face of fear. It’s being afraid of something and doing it anyway.

It’s okay to be scared. Everyone is scared of something. Just don’t let that fear paralyze you from going after your dreams.

# 7: While we have absolutely no control over the actions of others, we do have total and complete control over how we react.

Focus on what you can control and don’t worry about the things that you can’t control. What matters most is how quickly you “bounce back” after a failure or a setback.

# 8: My willingness to hear no got me on the right track in my career, but it was my wantingness to fail that catapulted me to the top.  

richard fenton quote

Once you truly get excited about failing, and look forward to it, you will watch your sales and income skyrocket.

# 9: Rather than setting goals for the number of yes’s you are planning to get each week, you set goals for the number of no’s you’re going to collect. 

This is great advice. Assume you close one out of every 10 people you talk to (on average). Let’s also assume you want to make five sales this week. If that’s the case, you should set a goal to get 45 NOs this week rather than making five sales. Get the NOs and you will get the YESs by default, maybe even a few extra YESs.

# 10: I told them that hearing yes is the easy part of the job and teaches you virtually nothing. But learning to hear no over and over again and to never quit… now that builds character and self-esteem.

When things are easy, it’s easy to be excited and successful. It’s when you are having bad luck and feel down and out, but continue to press forward, that’s when you know you will make it big.

# 11: Believe it or not, research shows that eighty-fiver percent of all the interactions between retail salespeople and shoppers end without the salesperson ever asking for a buying decision.

Most salespeople never even ask the prospect to buy. Just by asking each person you talk to buy will result in more sales. Also, even if your prospect is interested and wants to buy, there is a high likelihood they won’t buy, unless you specifically ask them to.

# 12: When salespeople hit a streak of yes’s, the worst thing they can do is back off and slack off, but that’s exactly what they usually do.  

When you’re on fire and hitting momentum, do not stop. If anything turn-up your efforts and double or triple your activity. Strike while the iron is hot!

# 13: You never want to lose your success momentum.

Like the previous tip, never slow down, especially when you are on fire.

# 14: The guy on your sales force who failed the most was also the number one salesman in the company? 

Babe Ruth was the all-time home run king for many years. He also had the all-time most strike outs. To make it big you must fail big. More importantly, people will remember you for your successes, not your failures.

# 15: Hearing yes is the easy part of the job and teaches you virtually nothing. But learning to hear no over and over again and to never quit…now that builds character and self-esteem. 

Every time you get a NO, but press forward, you get stronger and improve your skills. The NOs will build your confidence and make you better at what you do!

# 16: When everything in life is over and done with, no one will remember your failures, just your successes. 

In order to achieve the success you desire you need to have your failures (lots of them).

hearing yes is the easy part of the job

# 17: The comfort zone is never static. It’s either expanding or shrinking. 

Our comfort zone can be our greatest asset or worst enemy. Most people are held back by the limitations they place on themselves. If you want to grow and be more successful, you have to get out of your comfort zone.

# 18: Studies show that as many as 80% of all salespeople don’t make it through their first year for the simple reason that they failed to make enough calls. That’s it. Nothing else. 

Most people fail because they simply don’t work the numbers. What you lack in skill you can make up for in numbers, especially when you are new to sales.

# 19: Eventually it became clear that a motivated person who was willing to get in front of enough people and simply tell their story would almost always outsell the ‘sales pro’ with the slick closes and fancy techniques. 

You don’t need to be an expert or know it all to succeed in selling. You simply have to get off your butt and meet with enough people to share your story and ask for the sale. Do that and you will make the sales that you desire.

# 20: Approaching enough people with your offer, even with the most negative message imaginable, can save whole companies and entire careers. 

Once again, what you lack in skills you can make up for in numbers. If you aren’t meeting your quotas, go talk to more people.

# 21: When you mine for gold, you don’t really look for the gold, you remove the dirt. Selling and gold mining are very much alike. 

To find quality prospects you need to sift through a lot of people. Most people will be dirt. One piece of gold is worth a lot of money, but you have to sort through a lot of dirt to find it.

# 22: No doesn’t mean never; it means not yet. 

Most of your prospects will tell you NO at least five to ten times before they ever make the decision to buy. Some people will tell you NO even more than that. It all comes down to good follow-up and timing.

# 23: I know the day I start giving in to my fears in one area of my life, it will only be a matter of time before it becomes easier to avoid other challenges as well.

Don’t let your fears control you. Action cures fear.

# 24: Skill is highly overrated.

The most successful people are not normally the most talented. They are the people who work the hardest, the smartest, and persist.

# 25: Each one of us has our own personal failure quotient. In other words, how many times is a person willing to fail before succeeding? How many times are they willing to get knocked down and then get back up, knowing that they are almost certain to get knocked back down again.  

What is your number? Are you willing to go through the trials and tribulations to eventually succeed?

why salespeople quit

# 26: Numbing yourself to no isn’t about ignoring it; it’s about experiencing it so often that eventually loses its power over you.

Get familiar with hearing the word no. It will make your life a lot easier. Learn to not take it personally.

# 27: When everything in life is over and done with, no one will remember your failures, just your successes.

This is some sage advice. I would argue that the more failures you have in your life the more successes you will have.

# 28: Sixty percent of all customers say no four times before they finally say yes. That means the quickest way to separate yourself from the rest of the pack is to get at least five no’s from everyone you try to sell to. 

The fortune is in the follow-up. The more you stay in touch with your prospects, the more sales you will make. Most of your YESs will come after you’ve heard NO many times from the same person.

# 29: Ninety-two percent of all salespeople give up without asking for the sale a fifth time, but research also shows that sixty percent of all customers say no four times before they finally say yes. That means the quickest way to separate yourself from the rest of the pack is to get at least five no’s from everyone you try to sell to.

Keep the number five in the forefront of your mind at all times. Follow up with people until they buy, die or ask you not to talk with them again.

# 30: If you’re going to fail, fail big! 

Rather than fail once or twice a week, make it a goal to fail 20-30 times per week. Failing this many times will get you more YESs, which will build your confidence and make you more money.

# 31: If you’re going to get a no from somebody, get it from the client who needs twenty copiers, not just two.

Don’t be scared to approach your best prospects. Don’t be intimidated by someone because they are successful or have a big business. Go after the big accounts. Even if 90% of them tell you NO, just one sale could help you meet your quota for the entire year.

# 32: I’m just suggesting that there are many salespeople who intentionally avoid going for large sales because they’re afraid of blowing the big one. 

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Fail big and fail often. 

# 33: Great leaders help everyone in the organization understand the need to fail faster. 

The more and faster you fail, the more successful you will become and the more money you will make. PERIOD.

mining for gold

# 34: Reward people for their failures, not just their successes. 

Have competitions with your team where you reward the people who have the most failures. In most cases, these same people will also be the top producers.

About Go for No!

Go for No! is written by Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz. It has 80-pages. It was published on April 4, 2007 by Courage Crafters. The ISBN is 978-0966398137. As of April 2015, the book is the number 1,167 bestselling book on Amazon and it has 698 customer reviews with an average 4.7-star rating. The book comes in paperback, Kindle and audio format. It’s available anywhere books are sold. Order a copy on Amazon!

About Richard Fenton

With over twenty-five years of successful experience as a salesperson, sales manager, training director, professional speaker and seminar leader, Richard Fenton is uniquely qualified to teach and motivate people to reach increased levels of performance.

Growing up in Chicago, Rich started his employment career in the restaurant industry, moving quickly from busboy to manager in just six months and eventually becoming the company trouble-shooter at only 18 years of age. “I would travel around the country as a ‘turn-around expert’ of sorts, sometimes having to replace entire management teams for lack of performance. I look back at what I was called on to do at that age and realize what an incredible experience that was.”

Realizing his greatest passion was speaking and training, Rich decided to go into business for himself. In late 1997, along with partner Andrea Waltz, he launched Accelerated Performance Training (now FentonWaltz) to design and deliver programs for America’s most prestigious retailers.

Rich is co-author of three books for retailers, “Unlocking the Secrets of Retail Magic,” “The Run with the Lions Sales Safari” and most recently, “PLUCK! Providing Courageous Take-Charge Retail Service.” In addition, Rich is the author of a book that works for anyone who faces rejection (salesperson or not) called, “Go For No! The Ultimate Strategy for Failing Your Way to Success!” ~ Seminars on Demand

Final Thoughts

In review, Go for No! Yes Is the Destination, No Is How You Get There by Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz is an awesome book that will teach you the importance of embracing failure and getting NOs, so you can make more sales. The book is loaded with great tips, is well written, and is fun to read. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you should.

On a side note, did you like the book Go for No!? What are your thoughts? What is your favorite Richard Fenton quote listed above? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you.

Suggested Reading:
  1. The Greatest Salesman in the World
  2. How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling
  3. Be a Sales Superstar
  4. How to Ask for the Sale
  5. 50 Reasons to Get an Autoresponder
chuck holmes


Chuck Holmes
Network Marketing Professional (since 2002)
Author, Blogger, & Entrepreneur

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6 thoughts on ““Go For No!” Book Review & Top 34 Richard Fenton Quotes”

  1. There is so much here about failure, and I am in full agreement with all of it. If we didn’t fail, we wouldn’t learn. The exciting part is trying and if we fail, we try again. When we succeed, we move on to the next task.

    There was a day I feared failure, but now I live for it, because I know that a fail means I am that much closer to succeeding.

    This does sound like a very good and inspirational book. I thank you for providing this review. It is reviews like this that help me find books to read.

  2. I really love the quote about the fear of hearing the word no. I truly believe we allow our fear of rejection to keep us paralyzed and prevent us from moving forward. If we learned to see no as a redirection rather than a rejection we would free ourselves from the fear and hesitance that keeps us from acting.

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