“Say no to drugs!”
“No to violence against women!”
“Lock the gate. Say no to Coal Seam Gas!”
Even though grownups are encouraged to say “no,” is it little wonder that very few people are good at saying “no” to their peers or to people with perceived authority? (As a parent, you get really good at saying “no” to kids though).
As a birth doula, teaching my clients how to confidently say “no” is a huge part of what I do.
What happens is, if they don’t learn to listen to themselves, they end up agreeing to things they don’t really want or need.
All it takes is a woman in labor saying “do we have to right now?” for the medicos to pounce and start chipping away at her resolve.
Saying “No” doesn’t = defiance, selfishness or an inability to listen
The truth is, “No” is one of the most empowering words you can say.
Understanding what you want and what you don’t want, and being in control of your decisions is important, not only for your personal development but for your business success.
If you don’t feel confident in saying “no,” you’ll end up agreeing to all kinds of things that will distract you from what is really important… your goals, your family life and your sanity. But how does this relate to content marketing?
One of the hallmarks of content marketing is that you don’t need to pressure or manipulate prospective clients to say “yes.” Your focus is on helping and serving, not on manipulating an outcome.
So, learning to say “no,” not only empowers you to keep focus, but it also gives you great insight into how people communicate. When you know you’re being manipulated or coerced, you feel better about standing your ground and you learn to discern between people who genuinely care about you and those who just want you to do things their way, for their benefit.
So, how do you practice saying “no”?
That’s easy! Just put yourself in a situation where you know you’ll be pressured.
Allow me to explain. About a week or so ago, I visited a clothing store and saw a skirt on sale. When I asked about sizes, the shop attendant said that she’d have to order in the skirt from another shop and then added, “Oh and you’d love the shirt too! So, I’ll go ahead and order that one. Normally we ask for a $40 deposit but I’ll just let that go in this instance.” (The first alarm bell was going off!)
A few days later, I went back to the store and tried on the clothes. As I suspected, I didn’t like the shirt and just wanted to get the skirt and get out of there. But the sales attendant had other ideas.
I took both clothing items to the counter and handed back the shirt saying, “I don’t want this, but I’ll take the skirt thanks.”
She then looked at me quizzically and said, “Oh but if you just tie the shirt like this, it looks terrific with that skirt.
I said, “No thanks! I just want the skirt.”
Then she said, “Well, we have other shirts you might like that would go nicely with that skirt…”
Again, “No thanks!”
Not to be outdone, the shop assistant didn’t stop there. “Are you sure. They really do go well together.”
By this time, I was losing patience but once again I just smiled politely and said, “No thank you!”
Finally, she gave up, but not before offering me a special fabric bag to carry my new purchase home in (for an extra $2).
When I left the store I felt a bad taste in my mouth. I didn’t enjoy being pressured and didn’t like being made to say “no thanks” so many times.
There are many reasons why saying “no” is good for you and good for your business, but sometimes it’s hard, especially when the people asking are friends, colleagues or people you admire.
So, I want to encourage you to put your resolve to the test. You will find that when you get good at saying “no,” your marketing will improve. No longer will you feel the need to pressure others to buy or upsell and, as a bonus, you’ll be able to focus on achieving your business goals without giving in to other people’s agendas.
Do you have difficulty saying “No”?