“There Are Times When Saying ‘No’ Is The Appropriate Response”

As odd as it may sound, from a sales standpoint where we want to hear people tell us “yes” in response to our closing questions, the word “no” is often the correct or appropriate response for us to use. It is quite liberating and empowering and will make us better salespeople and aging in place professionals.

Consider the times when someone asks us to serve on a committee or run an errand or attend a meeting (pick the civic project that needs our help and expertise) that really interferes with our ability to perform our primary function – that of being a salesperson, a problem-solver, or solutions-creator, and that of being available to make a presentation to people who need our help to remain living comfortably in their present homes.

We may just have to say “no” – as uncomfortable or unpopular as it might seem at the moment. We don’t have to enjoy it or be mean or angry about it. It’s just a business decision. Many times we’ll be able to say “yes,” but sometimes we just can’t – or at least we shouldn’t agree to what is being asked of us.

Saying “yes” is easy. We like saying yes or making our customers happy – especially when they want us to do a little something extra that wasn’t part of the original discussion and we are able to accommodate – with or without any additional cost that might be involved.

We want to be liked. We don’t want to appear gruff or insensitive. We want to get along with our customers and associates.

Don’t take this the wrong way – this is not a license to say “no” to every request that comes our way, but we can’t say “yes” to everything or everyone. We would risk blurring our focus and concentration. We could lose your tenacity. We’d chance giving up our edge.

Let’s be pragmatic about our business – being magnanimous when we can but remembering that our main duty is being available for our customers and serving them. Making a sale is still the objective because that signifies that we have defined and met each customer’s needs to the point that they have selected us to move forward in solving them. If we’ve said “yes” to too many other requests or said “yes” too soon in the negotiation, we may not be able to retain our professional edge as a salesperson or sole practitioner.

There also are going to be opportunities that come along. Some are going to be easy to dismiss because they don’t look right for us right from the start. Others are going to take some courage to turn down because they look relatively attractive. Of course, really good opportunities may be something that we wish to pursue, but we have to evaluate them and determine just how relevant they are for our business and how it might help us make more money and serve more people.

Saying “no” is the correct response from us when we feel that something or someone does not align with our stated goals or purpose. The rest of the time, we can enjoy saying “yes” to people and ideas that come along.

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