Just Say No
Why This Question Matters
By Paul E. Casey
Learning to say "No" is an essential skill for the self-employed. First, never make a financial decision on the spot. Second, if you’re not interested, let the solicitor know immediately. You’re actually doing them a favor. Third, plan out the cash outlays you will need in advance, and stick to the plan.
In business, you have to make tough calls. I believe that many people don’t go into business for themselves because they have a problem with saying the word “No.” To succeed in business, you must be firm and direct. This means you must know when to turn someone down.
Some “No’s” are easy, such as when you get a call asking if you’d like to change your long-distance service. Unless you are one of those rare people in the world who is actually looking for a better long-distance service, simply say “Thank you. I’m not interested” and hang up. If you are offered a scheme that promises to make $100,000 in six months, you would be smart to turn it down. Again, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Other “No’s” may be a bit more difficult. If you sense that a client is a “Taker,” or that they will be difficult to work with, or that something about them is not quite honest, it can be very hard to turn them down, especially if you need the business. If you sense that the client does not really need your services, it can be hard to refuse them if you know that working with them would be very profitable. But it is better to be honest than to lead them on the business equivalent of a wild goose chase, making them spend money for business services that they don’t really need. They will respect you more if you tell them the truth, and they will almost always come back to you when the time comes that they really do need your services.
If you are someone who has a problem with saying “No.” you might want to reconsider going into business for yourself. Saying “No” is being tough when you have to be.
Bottom Line: Don’t make it hard for your customers to contact you by forcing them to use pagers, Facebook, texting, or complicated voicemail systems, just because you want to avoid solicitations. Just learn to say, "No thank you," to any solicitations, and you will be fine.
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In business, you have to make tough calls. I believe that many people don’t go into business for themselves because they have a problem with saying the word 'No.' To succeed in business, you must be firm and direct.