Hang Up the Phone: Why “No” is Negotiable

I’ve learned the simplest, yet less talked about “je ne sais quoi” associated with getting what you want. It takes one simple skill.

I called a vendor recently to request an adjustment in terms that would benefit our customers. I rolled up my sleeves because I knew I would get quicker results in lieu of delegating a simple call to my team.

I was on a mission; picked up the phone and expected the best.

On the other end was (Bob). Bob sighs as he answers the call, “Thank you for calling …” Immediately I knew that Bob wouldn’t be helpful. But, I proceed and give Bob the benefit of the doubt.

After briefly explaining the request Bob answers, “No. Sorry we can’t – it’s not our policy.”

If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a successful entrepreneur, it’s knowing when I am not going to get a desired result. I’m neither clairvoyant … nor psychic. But, I’ve learned the simplest “je ne sais quoi” associated with getting what you want.

Never accept, “No.”

When to Hang Up the Phone

I immediately thanked Bob, hung up and hit redial knowing that attempt #2 would yield my desired result — “Yes.”

“Hi, this is Joe. How can I help you today?”

Joe seemed much happier about his life and job … this was a good sign.

“Hi Joe. I need your help …” I exclaimed.

I made small talk and quickly asked Joe if he had the power to help me. The key lessons here:

1) I empowered Joe by speaking to him as an equal;
2) And was virtually unaffected by my prior lack of results with angry Bob.

Earlier in my startup years, I might have been fed up on attempt one … ten or twenty and taken my wrath out on the next unsuspecting victim. But in business it’s essential to keep things in perspective. Don’t sweat the small stuff.


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