“I have a horrible time saying no to people when they ask something of me. This year, you have inspired and empowered me to say no! I have a friend who owns a coffee shop and she is going out of town. She and her husband on 2 separate occasions have asked me to cover the shop for them. I told them, thanks for thinking of me, I will have to check my schedule and get back to them. I confirmed my gut reaction of no by checking my priorities and goals and I then told them no! In the past not only have I said yes but then they conveniently forgot to pay me or even say thank you, so I know this is the correct path for me! Thank you for all that you do for not only me but the thousands of others out there.”
I wanted to share this with you for two reasons. First, because we’re heading into the holiday season (which also just happens to fall smack dab in the middle of your busiest season as a direct seller) and you’ll probably be getting lots of requests over the next month and a half or so.
Second, because my experience in working with thousands of women direct sellers over the past 15 years is that all of us (and I include myself in that) sometimes have a difficult time saying no. Often times that leads us to say yes when we shouldn’t, we regret it, and worse, resent the person who asked when we find the harmony in our life suffering because of the commitment. That’s really not fair to the person to whom you said yes. Now you’re probably blaming them for something you got yourself into when, in reality, it would have been better to have just said no right up front so they could find someone who truly felt good about taking on the task.
That being said, I have a list of questions I run a request through before I say yes to it and I thought I’d share it with you. The key to using this effectively is to make sure you don’t say yes right away. Tell the person making the request that you’ll need to check your schedule and get back to them. Then use these questions to determine if saying yes is in everyone’s best interest.
- Will taking on this request upset the harmony in my life, business, and family?
- If so, is it important enough for me to CHOOSE to do that?
- Can I say yes and really feel good about taking on this task?
- What EXACTLY will it cost me if I say yes to this request? (Think in terms of time, resources, stress, etc.)
If I answer yes to the first question and no to either of the second two questions, I tell the person requesting my help that I have to decline because I can’t commit myself or my time to do the job they deserve for the task. Question number 4 is really important (and be SPECIFIC), because when you answer it you may realize that, even if you answered yes to the other questions, the cost is just too great.
So, to review, NEVER say yes up front, run the request through those 4 questions, and then get back to the person in a timely manner with a well thought out, appropriate response that keeps everyone’s best interest at heart.
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Julie Anne Jones is direct sales corporate consultant, coach, and trainer, and the CEO of Julie Anne Jones, Inc. She is known for her authentic and easy-to-use scripting and specializes in specific language and tools for success in direct sales. To learn more about Julie Anne and her products and services, and to read her weekly blog posts, visit her at www.julieannejones.com.