We’ve been thinking, about how to stop saying yes all the time and starting saying more NOs, but in a yessy kinda way. But when you’re a working in dynamic, up and coming digital agency, it’s hard to say no, especially to clients. So for the purpose of all things client facing, we’ve looked, pondered and deliberated, the votes have been cast, counted and verified by an independent adjudicator and here we have, Impression DP’s top ten tips on how to say no but not to burn that bridge.
Flying in at number one we’ve got:
1) Boundaries are the moat to your castle, build them and keep your bridge up.
Set boundaries in place at the start of every working relationship. Let your team, clients and all other stakeholders aware of your boundaries. Don’t break your boundaries, set your rules and stick to them. So mean what you say and say what you mean, don’t say yes when you really mean no and allow your boundaries to do the talking.
2) “Can I get back to you on that one, I need to check the schedule.”
It’s more than acceptable to delay the response to a request until after you have consulted the team, schedule or higher power. Don’t fire out a yes without knowing if you can actually yes. Take your time, take a breath and allow for a politely worded no to form, in your self-bought time.
3) Tap into your sixth sense, but try to avoid seeing dead people.
Trust your knee jerk it’s usually right, also don’t allow the emotional demons to creep in. We’ve all said yes when tired, hungover or hungry. Trust the minds first reaction but don’t allow it to have control over the final answer. Breath in, breath out and review the cold hard facts, then make the all-important decision. A yes stinking of last night’s Pinot Grigio well only damage the relationship between you and your client in the long term.
4) Jeremy Kyle always listens to both sides of the story, so should you.
Explore the pros and cons of every situation, discuss them aloud to the requestor and to an impartial party. Do not ask the audience or opening up the situation to the floor, this will only add pressure and will lead to a “YES ALRIGHT!” Which in the long term is no for client relationships. Every yes is another pile on your desk, every no could be more time for live projects consider both sides carefully.
5) If you scratch my back…
Will the situation give you the opportunity to call a favour in at a later date? Again examine the positives and negatives of said back scratch, because we all know it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Could the situation be beneficial for you to call in the favour when you’ve got an itch you just can’t scratch?
6) Be transparent, open, honest and biblical
Explain why your reservations and what they are, in detail. Make sure the client is under no illusion and feels that you’re not dodging the conversation. Rejection without context is like Kimmy without Kanye, just another reality TV star. So say no (or yes) and then say why no (or yes.)
7) That’s a yes to your cleint and a no to the situation
You can say yes to the client and no to the situation. Omit positivity, be the king of your castle, but just say no to the war. People do take no personally, appeal to the human, speak to the human and try not to offend.
8) The Shit Sandwich
Make your response more palatable, layer it with mayo… errr er I mean positivity. Layer it up with by explaining your other commitments and why you can’t yes, then no and the top it off with a big dollop of I would love to but the situation means I can’t. Ladies and gents, the shit sandwich.
9) This is a great idea, can we talk about it over coffee, maybe tomorrow?
Defer, don’t make a snap decision when a requestor hurls a something in your direction. Ask for an opportunity sit down and discuss the request outside of the mentalness. When discussing the request, pay attention to your body language give off positivity like the scent of Lynx. But use the opportunity to say no, in calm and collected fashion.
10) Use your words like crafted weapons
Nobody wins a situation where a client has requested and you come back with horrid, defensive, nasty and downright rude no. Carefully choose the words around the no and like ninja, karate chop yourself into freedom.
And there we have, our top ten tips on how to say no without having to burn a bridge or raise your moat. Happy refusals Impressionists!
Ciao for now.