There is an element of excitement in hearing the word “yes”. Remember how cheerful you would feel after your parents said yes to even the simplest of things? We continue to experience a little of that throughout our lives. Hearing yes gives us a bit of instant happiness, satisfaction, and validation that can greatly influence our opinions about people, places, and businesses.
I recently wrote about how learning to say “no” can be empowering, in part because it allows us to focus attention and energy on what is important to us and to our businesses. There are plenty of times when no is not only a perfectly appropriate response, but the only logical one. At the same time, we need to make sure it doesn’t become a knee-jerk reaction rooted in unfounded fears.
The instinct to say no can be strong if we feel uncertain about the potential consequences of agreeing to something we’re unsure about, something we are concerned as to whether we can deliver, or if we feel we are at risk of over-committing. But saying yes can be a gateway to new possibilities and opportunities, provided it is a thoughtful response rather than a reflexive one.
Saying yes requires you to make a commitment. It forces you to take action and engage. It can establish trust and energize a relationship. It can lead to new opportunities and allow you to push yourself. Saying yes at the right times communicates what is important to you and your business, and -like saying no – it can help establish boundaries.
Customers and clients contact you because they want or need something. They like hearing that you can deliver. A yes answer doesn’t always have to be an absolute. Like saying no, it can set the stage for negotiations and allow you to offer alternatives that work better for you and the customer. No one likes hearing “yes, but …,” which can immediately engender feelings of distrust. However, saying “yes, and …” shows interest and gives you the opportunity to explain how you are able serve the customer’s needs.
“I can help you with that” is a way of saying yes to a customer that permits you to explain the parameters within which you can deliver. It allows you to start a conversation, take action, and engage on a level that opens new possibilities for your business without over-committing.
Never say yes to something because you’re talked into it. Say yes because it’s the right opportunity for you and your business to build or strengthen a relationship with a customer. Try it out, and discover how saving “yes” can be empowering.