When your customers ask you to do something a bit out of the ordinary, do you find a reason to say “no”, or do you try to figure out how to say “yes”?
Seth Godin had a smart post yesterday about people who try to say yes. He uses a common whipping boy, the guy behind the counter at the local post office. He compares the person behind the USPS counter to the person behind the FedEx counter. One of them tries to figure out a way to get to “no”, the other tries to overcome the problems to get to “yes”.
I like to think of myself as a yes man. I tell my customers and clients that anything they want is possible, given enough time and/or money. Sometimes it comes back to bit me, because I get overloaded, but not very often.
There’s a big advantage to being a yes man. People view you differently. If you have to tell them “no”, they generally accept it, whereas if you always say “no”, they then start looking for a way around you to get what they need.
When you hear managers or co-workers say “no”, do you ask why not? Sometimes there is a valid reason, but many times there is a very sketchy answer with no real substance behind it. If you feel a soft answer, try pushing it to try to get it to “yes”.
You’ll feel better being a problem solver than being the problem.