At an Ernst & Young event that I attended a few months ago, Mary Ellen Sheets, the founder of Two Men and a Truck, was asked to share her best piece of business advice. Her response was, “Always say, ‘Yes.’” She explained that the number of doors that opened, the number of new opportunities that unfolded before her as a result of her willingness to say yes and to explore them was immeasurable.
In his November 18, 2011 blog post entitled, “No,” just a few days ago, famed entrepreneur and business writer, Seth Godin, had this to say:
No, we don’t take clients like that.
No, that’s not part of what we offer.
No, that market is too hard for us to service properly.
No, I won’t bend on this principle.
No, I’m sorry, I won’t be able to have lunch with you.
No, that’s not good enough. Will you please do it again?
No, I’m not willing to lose my focus, and no, I’m not willing to compromise.
We have discussed over the course of the past few days how grateful we all feel when a networking prospect says, “yes,” and, frankly, how crummy it feels when one says, “no.”
And, so, my guidance to all of you networkers out there is don’t be a no person… be a YES person. By saying, “Yes!” you are agreeing to enhance your portfolio of life experiences, of people in your personal database, of knowledge in your arsenal of information.
When you are on the other side of the table… or email… or phone call… and someone asks you for a meeting, say, “Yes!” Do so enthusiastically. Take a servant leader mentality. Ask what you can do to help. Offer guidance. Offer referrals. Make time. What’s the worst thing that could happen? A new sales lead? A new idea? A new friend? An extra cup of Coffee?
I’ve mentioned before that there are no bad meetings… I’ll go into more detail on that tomorrow. For now, say, “Yes!” and relish the experience.