I learned early in sales the more often someone saw me, the better my chance at getting the sale. It didn’t hurt that I was an outgoing gal in my 20’s selling to men my father’s age either. But it worked with women buyers too, psychology governs that we are looking for connection and for better or worse, the last person we see, sticks the most.
What this psychology creates in sales is to always say yes. Always be there. Don’t miss an event. Be SO everywhere that you are always recognized. Never miss an invitation. And damn it … it works.
This is true in our social and family lives too. Saying yes can take on a sense of responsibility that can be painful in making a choice between 2 or 3 “important” events. Have you ever gone to the early wedding, popped by the graduation picnic, made an appearance at the anniversary party and back to the wedding reception just in time for dinner and cake? You may not have been fully present to the moment, but you made those “necessary” appearances.
And we get rewarded for saying yes. Yet how deep of a connection did we make? I appreciate people who work me into a busy day, I do. I also equally understand if they can’t work me in.
This is tricky stuff.
There has been a quote circulating social media, “The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘NO’ to almost everything.” This quote is being attributed to Warren Buffet, at least the version I saw. Well, poop, now what? Everything I learned as a young salesperson is now out the window? What about my successful entrepreneur friends who seem to be at every networking event? Or my competitors … are my competitors saying yes or no?
Another quote that I keep close is by Marie Forleo, “Everything you say yes to means saying no to something else.” So many clients have bigger dreams than the next sale. They want to write a book. They want to work on their next business idea. They want to go to the gym more. They want to meditate for an hour a day. They want to be more present. They want to have time to cook and meal prep. They don’t want to feel hurried and rushed all the time.
How can we know when to say yes and when to say no? Saying no to everything works for Warren Buffet because … he’s Warren Buffet. We don’t typically have that luxury. Even the introvert, aloof writer needs someone to buy her novels to pay the mortgage, car payment, and groceries. Being unknown doesn’t pay the bills or work so well in our social media’d world.
I think we have no other choice than to do both. To say yes and to say no. I often look at the pace I want my day to go to help me decide. But even then, I will have 3 invites that feel like a required yes … all in the same day. The invites don’t care about the pace of my day. So sometimes, it’s a crazy Tuesday but then a quiet Wednesday and Thursday. Moral of the story, it’s a continuous battle that requires me to be fully present to what is “important” or “necessary.” More and more, I choose to miss out on something good for bigger dreams. T
What about you? How do you know when to say yes, to say no? We all learn from each other. Please consider sharing your views on saying yes or no in the comments.