The Culture of No

Today I want to talk about the Culture of No.

The Culture of No comes into play when we explain to a Customer why we can’t help them.

We are almost always polite when we tell a Customer no. We speak in calm, measured tones, with a sympathetic look on our faces, and sometimes a shrug that says “Whaddayagonnado?”

You know what? Customers don’t give a damn why we can’t do something. All they see is that we are an obstacle to getting what they need or want. And what do you do with an obstacle?

You go around it. If they have more aggressive personalities, they might ask to talk to your manager. If they think that you weren’t really listening, or you’re the second or third person that they’ve told their story to, they might even ask to talk to your department head... or, later, your corporate attorney.

Most people don’t have that kind of personality, though. Most people hang up. Then they go somewhere else. Forever. And they tell everyone on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and on and on to do the same.

The Culture of No is a trap – for a business, a fatal trap. There’s only one way out: Find a way to say yes.

The Culture of Yes takes more work. You have to offer alternatives – would you prefer this, or this?, Or teach yourself to say “We probably can’t do that, but we can do this – does this work for you?”

The Culture of Yes takes creativity, and flexibility. Which is a good thing, because an inflexible person is often a corpse, and an inflexible business almost always becomes one.

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