Just Say Yes
Thank you for reading my blog, I sincerely hope you enjoy it. As the year closes, I would like to take a moment to wish you and those you love happiness, comfort and health for the holiday season and all the years to come. All of us have much to be grateful for in our lives and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you. For it is people like you that make our lives better every day, because we are fortunate enough to call you a friend.
Happy Holidays from all of us at InnoVision
Just Say Yes
If you were born prior to 1973 you probably remember Nancy Reagan’s wildly popular anti-drug campaign “Just Say No”. It was a great campaign on so many levels and was actually created by the First Lady after she asked a little girl in a classroom “What would you do if someone offered you drugs?” during one of her many anti-drug crusades. The little girl responded matter-of-factly, “Why, I would just say no”.
Telling children to just say no to drugs is definitely the right message. But I’m wondering, have people in the service industry received a memo with the same message? A “Just Say No” memo, sent to them from the top of their organization? My guess is you’ve experienced it in some way. It sounds like this: “No, we do not have an upgrade available” or “No, we cannot offer you a better deal” or “No, you cannot substitute the cheese.” Or maybe you’ve heard “No, we can’t meet that deadline”.
I believe, yes, the “Just Say No” memo has been sent. So the question is: “Why is that okay?” Because I firmly feel in most cases it is not okay to say no. And lately I’m hearing it way too often.
I have a philosophy: When a client makes a request that is within the boundaries of reality, we at InnoVision just say “yes” or “absolutely” even if we’re not 100% sure at the time. You may be thinking, “Well that’s risky,” and maybe it is. But it forces us to get creative, tougher, to find answers and solutions, call on our resources and push the envelope.
And doing that makes me and my team better at what we do, as it does for anyone or any company that practices the “yes” philosophy.
I believe that people are okay with saying no for many reasons. So I’ll touch on what I think are the top four reasons:
1) “No” is easy
Saying no ends all conversation. All ideation. All negotiation and any further work. So for people that are lazy, unmotivated and uninspired, no is the perfect word.
2) “No” is safe
It’s scary to say yes to something you’re unsure of having the ability to do or execute. It’s a risk to say yes when the request is a stretch. But as you know when it comes to physical skill, the only way to get stronger, more limber or more skilled is to stretch, push the limits and practice. Well the same concept applies to the human brain. The more you push its limits, make it think outside its comfort zone and make it solve problems, the better it gets at it. Just like physical ability, the mind gets smarter, stronger, faster and solving problems becomes easier and easier. So saying yes is probably the best mind exercise that you can do.
3) “No, is all I have to offer”
Many people that work at consumer touch-points are not authorized to say yes. This is the result of poor upper management and driven by fear and lack of trust from upper management. When it is not possible or logical to say yes, and I truly believe 90+% of the time “yes” is viable, there are ways to say no while saying yes at the same time simply by finding an alternate option and saying, “I’m sorry we cannot do that, but we can offer you this”. Through proper training employees can learn to say yes without any detriment and, in fact, the “yes” will result in a great brand experience for your customer.
Saying yes to a request, a new idea or a change in something often means it is contrary to someone’s or a company’s creation, philosophy or policy. So saying yes means allowing other people’s ideas and input into an equation and that means taking the ego down a notch for the overall good of the end result.
When it comes to clients and customers I try to live by the old adage that “the customer is always right”. Because even if you are “right” and the customer is “wrong” (and that does happen), and you win the argument but lose the customer, did you really win? No, you were “dead right” and being dead right is a losing proposition. And to avoid being dead right you have to have a “yes” philosophy and a clear understanding of the points above.
When you study successful companies you’ll notice the common thread they all have: They’re “yes” companies. If you’re reading this I’ll bet you’re a “yes” person and I commend you for it. Companies need more “yes” people. We need to let the “no” people know we’re not going to take it anymore.
So here’s what I suggest: It’s our turn to say no. “No, I won’t be coming here anymore” and “No, I won’t be patronizing your store anymore” and “No, I won’t be eating here anymore” and “No, I won’t be doing business with you anymore”.
I believe we should fight fire with fire and say no to the people that say no and eventually they’ll all end up where all the other people are that say no more often than yes are.
And where is that you ask?
Well, where else?
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