Learning to say no

By Steve Kloyda, The Prospecting Expert


I want to talk to you about learning to say no. So let me share a story to illustrate my point. Several years ago my son Joshua owned a 1974 bright orange VW bus. It needed some work, so I found one of the best VW mechanics in the city.

I called this mechanic shortly after 8 a.m. on a Tuesday. Someone answered the phone with a “Hello, this is Bill.”

I asked him if he had afew minutes so I could explain the problems my son was having with his VW Bus. Bill told me his shop didn’t open until 9:00 and that I need to call back later. As far as Bill was concerned that was the end of the conversation. I filled the deafening silence with “Ok, goodbye” and hung up.

I sat there in total amazement. My first reaction was, “If you are not open until 9:00, don’t answer your phone!”

After a 5-minute rant with my wife, I still couldn’t believe what happened. I am the customer, and I’ve got money to spend – what was this guy thinking?

As I pondered what had happened, my attitude started to change. How many times have we as salespeople said yes, when we really meant no? How many times have we made sacrifices for our clients or customers and they really didn’t appreciate the value we created for them? And how many of those sacrifices were made out of fear of losing a prospect or customer?

What would it be like to be Bill, where our reputation allows us to set the rules of engagement and stick to them? What would it be to achieve a level of excellence that results in this kind of customer loyalty and trust without imprisoning ourselves with the pressures and expectations of our profession?

In a world which is now 24/7 with no boundaries, what boundaries could you establish in your personal and business life that would change things for you?