This one word changed our Brand Community

The power of saying, “No”.

When I started my journey as an entrepreneur, I made a huge mistake. And sadly, it took me years to figure out what I was doing wrong.

The issue with this mistake is that it isn’t obvious. Not just entrepreneurs, but people, in general, make it for the majority of their lives.

I was a people pleaser. I kept saying “yes.” Especially when it came to business.

The moment I stopped saying yes, things started to change. I started to make better margins, my customers were happier, people stopped trying to walk all over me, and my team members were happier with me.

As a company, our brand community was suffering.  As I’ve mentioned before, Brand Community is what a  customer expects from you. For LeFace they expect a strong digital / communication strategy, memorable events and exceptional customer attention.

Saying yes too quickly meant stretching ourselves too thin.

Why do you say “yes?”

Well, the reason you say yes is probably the same reason I also said yes.

You want to please people.

And if you keep saying yes, believe it or not, it won’t make them happy. In fact, it will make them more upset.

Of course, there is a time and place to say yes to people, but not always. Sometimes people ask for things that are unrealistic.

A lot of the time it is asking for a drastic discount on your product or service… a discount that will make you lose money.

Or sometimes a boss may ask you to complete a task within a very tight deadline that you know isn’t possible.

Now think about it this way: when you say yes just to please people it will make things worse.

For example, when it comes to reducing the price or your service so much that you’ll lose money, it won’t motivate you to help out your client. And even more important, you won’t be able to spend the time and energy your client will need because you’re losing money.

This means that not only will you regret your decision, but they will be upset with you because of the poor performance.

Same goes with timeline. If a client asks us to meet a tight deadline that isn’t possible, and we agree to it and miss the deadline, they are going to be upset with us.

In other words, saying yes when you shouldn’t might make people happy with you temporarily, but in the long run, they are going to be disappointed and, in many cases, angry with you.

So, what should you say instead of yes?

No!

It really is that simple. All you have to do is say no.

Of course, you’ll have to explain why, but it’s a very powerful word that won’t make people upset with you as long as you use it right.

For example, with our brand community agency, Leface, people ask for discounts all of the time.

Can you guess what we say?

No!

But we say it nicely and usually tell potential customers….

We can’t go down in price. We charge this much because we know what it takes to provide results, and if we went down in price, we won’t be able to provide you with the service you are expecting.

I know it may make you feel a bit uncomfortable to be this direct but you need to. It will do wonders for you and your business.

Even when your boss asks you to complete a task that isn’t realistic, you should say something like…

I want to help you get the task done, and I don’t mind working extra hours, but it won’t be feasible for me to meet your deadline. The reason being is because of X, Y, and Z. If it is more important to complete this task than the current tasks I am working on, I can always push them back if you are open to it. Or if we can reduce the scope of the project, I may be able to get it done within Y timeframe.

When it comes to your boss, you’ll want to be creative.

Instead of just saying “no” you’ll want to come up with possible solutions. Your boss may not like any of the solutions but being proactive and thinking outside of the box at least shows your boss that you are trying to do what’s best for the company.

Now let me forewarn you when it comes to saying no to your boss…

If you are truly right, there is no issue with saying no. But if you are lazy and a slow worker and other people can get the task done within the time they are proposing, then things aren’t going to work out for you.

In other words, don’t just use the word no because you are lazy and don’t want to do extra work. Use it when it really makes sense.

How does this help with sales?

Have you ever heard the saying… “play hard to get.”

From a psychological standpoint, we have a higher perceived value for things that may be out of reach. In other words, saying no makes you seem more desirable because you are making yourself a bit more out of reach.

People will more likely work with you and pay your price if you hold your ground.

See, here’s the big issue with saying yes in sales when people are asking for more or want to pay less:

The moment you say yes, the first thing that goes through their mind is “what else can I get?” And they’ll keep asking more and it won’t stop.

Then you’ll find yourself with a deal that doesn’t make sense for you.

So, do yourself a favor and start saying no, especially when it comes to sales.

Why should you tell your customers no?

Similar to sales, once people join as a customer it’s a slippery slope to keep telling them yes.

The moment your clients sees you move an inch, they’ll take a mile.

So, when they start asking for you to do things out the scope, you should say no. Even when they are small things as it will lead to bigger asks in the future.

Now, I am not saying that you shouldn’t keep your clients happy. You should provide the product or service they paid for. And every once in a while, if you want to go above and beyond for them… you should. But it should be you making that decision and not them asking for you to make it.

Just for a moment, think about what I just said…

If you want to go above and beyond for your customer or client when they aren’t expecting, that’s fine and it will make you look good. But if your customer is asking for you to go above and beyond, it will set a bad precedent.

Why it’s ok to tell your co-workers no

Out of all of them, this is the trickiest one because you don’t want to create a bad work environment and have people hate you.

But if people are having you do stuff that isn’t the best for the business and it doesn’t logically make sense, there is nothing wrong with saying no.

I will warn you though, just saying “no” and providing no explanation or alternative solutions will cause problems for you.

As long as your explanations are reasonable and logical you’ll be fine. Also, the reasons need to be best for the business as well. In addition, you’ll need to provide alternative solutions… this is the key as it shows you are a team player and proactive.

You’ll want to make sure that you are thinking things through before you give your response.

People will respect your decision if it makes sense… maybe not right then and there, but in the long run, they will – improving your personal brand community.

On the flip side, if you keep telling your co-workers no when they are right, or your boss no because you are lazy, you’ll probably get fired. Especially if you don’t give them alternative solutions.

So, you’ll need to be careful with this.

Conclusion

Stop saying yes to everything. All it will do is make your life miserable.

I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s true.