The idea of saying No and the success of saying No in one’s personal and professional life is something that has been written about, is well-known, and is just a healthy practice in one’s life. If you always say yes, you will create undue pressure on yourself and those around you. No allows you to control a lot of your time. If a lot of this is known and is good practice, why is this a blog post?
I hate saying no. Why? Because this is something personal to me and that I think may be the most challenging thing we as sales professionals face every day. I am a people pleaser. I love helping folks and trying to find accommodations to make a deal. Not being able to say no to a customer or a constituent has made my life miserable. The ability to say No is crucial to being a sincere salesperson. If you can’t say no, you put yourself and your organization at a disadvantage. You are not being sincere with that customer; not only will it put you in a challenging situation over time. It ruins the opportunity for you to understand your customers better and allow them a chance to garnish respect for you. If you say No, that enables the customer to understand you and your organization’s limits and expectations. It is the same for an employee; by saying no, you are laying out what is expected of an employee.
Okay, Kelly, you just said say No, and you also said you have trouble saying no, so how do you do it. I have one straightforward trick that has continued to save me and creates an excellent opportunity to have better conversations. Don’t answer right away if a customer or an employee asks you for something or for you to make a decision. Buy yourself some time. Don’t give the knee-jerk reaction of yes. You must listen to a customer or an employee and then ask for it in writing or for more details promising that you will check if you can accommodate this request. This strategy will give you the reprieve you need to formulate a soft No. A No allows you to respect a customer and an employee and their input and you can provide a justification to them. The other good thing about this time to review and think about the request is maybe while you can’t give the customer or employee everything they want, perhaps it allows you an opportunity to adjust some other resources. You can accommodate some of the requests. Being slow in response is not bad; giving a pause in conversation shows your audience that you take requests seriously and will provide them with consideration rather than just giving them a quick no.
I was hoping you could try this an upcoming conversation of a request. Try giving yourself a pause, and instead of just agreeing, allow yourself to say no. If you like what you are reading, subscribe to the blog and follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn.