Is the ‘no’ word getting too much bad press??

Sadly we quite often see the ‘no’ word in a negative way, it can leave us feeling rejected, disappointed and can stop us moving forward if we let it, all of which are understandable depending on the impact of the ‘no’ to our lives!

We hear it at such an early age, mostly for our safety, but its still associated with stopping us doing something we would like to do, but how often has that ‘nooooo’ prevented so many accidents – so that’s got to be a great NO – right?

Interestingly when we say no to someone else most of us follow it with the reason why we are saying no to try and take the edge off the word. A straight ‘no’ to a friend asking the question ‘I’ve made a carrot cake for you, would you like some’ would feel very awkward, following it with the reason why makes it feel so much softer, although it would always be a yes from me with carrot cake!

I have been in sales and recruiting for many years, and I’ve heard and said most of the positive phrases out there to get us over the no’s we encounter….

‘Every no takes you nearer a yes’ – it’s true of course, the more people we ask the closer we are to getting a yes if we are asking in the right way.

‘No is not personal’ – absolutely right most of the time!

‘No is not forever’ – again so true, potentially it isn’t a ‘don’t ever ask me again’

I believe there is so much more to ‘no’ than two letters…

  • When we offer our product/service/opportunity to someone we have no idea of the position or the place they are in within their business, timing is everything. It might be a ‘not at the moment’ but you can offer to call back or send information in an agreed timescale which leaves the door open to a possible future yes.
  • No – can mean of course what we are offering isn’t for them, but how do we know that if we don’t ask the question unless they have volunteered the reason for their no? If we have done our homework we should be contacting the ‘right’ people which narrows down the possibility of this no.
  • The ‘no’ was personal – perhaps we didn’t deliver our message in the right way for the individual and they didn’t feel the connection with us.
  • They just don’t ‘know’ what they are saying yes to – always good to take a look at our pitch on a regular basis, is it clear what we are offering (see my blog on ‘pitch perfect or a few flat notes’ on my website for a few pointers)

Whatever the reasons for the ‘no’ its what we do next that is crucial. I believe that dealing with the no’s in a good way can open the door to a future yes!

I have two recent examples of things I have said no to, one with a future yes and one with a definite no never!

An old colleague of mine recommended some animated clips for my business a few months ago – I love the idea, but I have a ‘tick list’ of things I want to do and as much as I wanted to do it, it wasn’t the right time when we first discussed it. I was invited to go back to her when I am ready, and equally I was more than happy for her to send me a reminder in a couple of months, so it was a definite future yes from me.

Sadly my second example was also something I really wanted for my business in the future but I got as far as the ‘no’ and I was ready to follow with ‘its’ just not the right time for me to do it, but it is something I would like to pursue in a few months’ however I looked at the sales person they had ‘left the building’ not physically I might add, but mentally they had moved on, as soon as they heard ‘no’ they were thinking about the next person they could approach, so they lost my future yes.

I think we have all had that phone call from someone who was a ‘no’ who contacted us when the time was right for them and they thought of us, its such a great feeling!

In this busy world we live in, are you embracing your no’s enough and seeing them as a possible future yes? Only you ‘know’ the answer to that one…