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Say-No-Maximize U

Don’t be Afraid to Say No

I want to write about something that’s really important today. And that is, don’t be afraid to say no. What do I mean by that? In a sales situation, or in an environment where the other person is making a demand, and they’re asking you for something, it’s okay to push back and say, No, we cannot do that. It’s okay to put parameters around your agreement to their asks.

Steps Involved

People are going to ask all kinds of things from you. And just because they make the ask doesn’t mean you need to agree to it. Evaluate the ask, analyze it, and look at the ask in terms of the merits of what is being requested. Understand the response to the Ask in terms of what it is that you’re going to get if you do what they’re asking for, and evaluate the pros and cons.  Do a cost benefit analysis and look at a return on investment, and see whether the ability to execute exists,  as well as if the potential for benefit exists. Sometimes there’s a trade off around that.

Real-life Example

I’ll give you an example- recently, I was in a sales situation where one of the customers we were providing a service to, was asking for all these things- where we are having to jump through hoops to fulfill what the customer was asking for. I had to make a simple observation. And that is-what is it that we are going to get if we do this? Is the customer committing to executing on the transaction in our timeframe? Are they committing to growing the deal? Are they agreeing to be a reference for us-we need to get something in return for agreeing to do the customer Ask.

Win-win Outcome

It has to be a win-win situation- it cannot be one sided, it cannot be one way. Because then there is no equitable exchange of value. You need to provide value and you need to receive value in return from the client or the other party in the transaction. If there is no value, and it is only in one direction, and it is only in one side, then it’s not a fair transaction. And you absolutely should say no.

On the other hand, if you are agreeing to their request, make sure that you also stipulate and clearly communicate what is your ask in return to agreeing to their ask. And that means saying something like-okay, Mr. Customer, I think we can do that. But in order for us to do that, here is what we need from you. And if you can commit to providing us with that, I can commit to providing you with what you are requesting.

Art and a Science

If there is hesitation on the customer side, or if they cannot do that, then you need to take a call. If you’re not getting what you want, why should you give the customer what they want? At the end of the day, it’s some level of art and some level of science. The guiding principle is that it has to be a win win situation, it has to be an equitable exchange of value. And both parties need to walk away being better off than they were when they started the exchange or discussion. As long as those things are being met, you go ahead and either say yes, or you go ahead and either say no.

Make Management Aware

Just one piece of advice and caution. Make sure that your management is aware of what is happening and what you’re doing and what the concessions and giveaways are, and what the take is, so that nobody is blind-sighted. Nobody likes to be blindsided at the end of the day, because surprises, particularly the unpleasant ones are not something that you want.


Do not be afraid to say no and do not be afraid to push back-that is not being a bad person; that is not being difficult. It is being a professional salesperson and wanting to get something of equitable value in exchange for what you’re giving. Hope you liked this post-for any questions or feedback, please email us at  Thanks


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