Do you find it difficult to say NO? I do.
It’s tough to say NO to people. We have been conditioned to say yes, to be agreeable, to do what’s expected of us. But every time we say YES to something or someone, we give up our valuable time or money – or both.
I’ve learned – the hard way, as usual – to SAY NO FIRST to any request or offer, especially in my business.
Why SAYING NO FIRST Works
Here’s the secret: If you say yes to someone or something, you’re stuck – committed. You can’t go back later and say no, or at least it’s much more difficult.
But if you say no, you aren’t committed. You can think things over and make a decision later.
Derek Sivers from CDBaby suggests viewing your decisions as either “Hell Yeah” or “No.” Anything that’s not a “Hell Yeah” is a “No.”
Saying No First to save time and money
If someone has a great idea for a product, service, or product in your business, say no to it to give yourself time to think about the value of the idea. Take the time to do your research. Making a snap decision to agree to something may make sense in some emergency situations, but how many of those situations that we think are emergencies really are.
In a negotiation, for example, saying no can give you time to see how the other party will react. It may stop you from giving away something important. In an employment contract I was discussing with an employer, I said no to several offers. I said I wanted time to think. The employer must have really wanted me to take the job, because she kept giving me higher offers. If I had said yes to the first offer, I would have not known how much I could have been offered.
Saying no before you buy gives you time to think about whether you really need this and if there are less expensive alternatives. In buying anything for the first time, I usually give myself a “cool off” period of 48 hours to think about it. Saying No First allows me to make sure it’s worth the money.
The Principle of Scarcity and Saying NO
A book every business person should read is Influence, by John Cialdini. He has done his research and he explains how we are manipulated by clever marketers. These marketers know that if we can wait to buy something, we most likely won’t buy. So they force the issue by using the principle of Scarcity.
“Get it now, or never”
“Limited time offer”
“Only a few left”
You’ve seen these persuading phrases, and they are powerful. A variation of the scarcity principle involved attendance. A marketer was trying to persuade readers that if they didn’t come for the whole webinar they might “lose their seat.” Ha!
Saying NO Nicely
Saying no is easy if the asker is someone you don’t know. But how do you say no to your business colleagues, your employees, your boss, your best friend? I have found two principles to be helpful:
- You don’t have to give reasons. We seem to be compelled to give reasons for our actions. But, there’s no law that says you must give a detailed explanation. “I am not able to do that,” is enough. Or, “No, I don’t think so.” I’ve learned that the more you explain, the more the other person feels compelled to talk you out of your explanation. If you say, “No, I can’t afford it right now,” your listener has two ways to come back to you: “How much can you afford?” and “Can I call you next week?” Just say NO with no explanations. Try it; it gets easier the more you do it.
- Be nice. It never hurts to be nice, and it might help you someday. Say no as nicely as you can, even to someone on the internet you may never see again. You never know….
Saying No to the Unimportant and Non-urgent
Your time as a business owner is valuable. Learning how to say no to time-wasting activities is vital to keeping your Frugal Business growing. Which activities are most important, and which can be put aside for a while or given to someone else? The Important/Unique Grid is a great way to evaluate time requests. And saying no first is the first step to having time to evaluate these requests.
Whether it’s someone asking you about a great idea for your business, or giving yourself time to evaluate a business purchase, Saying No First helps you prioritize, spend less, and have more time.
Here’s to the Success of Your Frugal Business!