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There is only one way to get from a No to a Yes...
& that is through a Maybe

by / Friday, 10th July 2015

I think that after almost a million years of working in recruitment I have finally understood that the only way to turn a No into a Yes is to go via a ‘Maybe’.

When I was a kid, my mantra was to demand whatever it was that I wanted. I wanted an instant result – to ‘win’ and for whomever to ‘lose’. If I was tough and unforgiving, my opponent would just give in – right? As I grew a little older, I guess I toned it down a little but still wanted an instant result from any negotiation. In fact, as a Young Buck Recruiter, I still believed that persistence really meant playing ‘hard ball’ and never backing down. It was black & white, a Yes or a No.

But I have finally realised that the quickest way to get anyway is to take your time. This is never truer than when running your own business. You have to think long term and to try and visualise where you want to be in a year or two years or even further out.

It is not about today or this week or even this month. Don’t shout, don’t scream and don’t demand. Play the long term game. You already know what you want so why do you need to shout it out all of the time?

Just the other day, I was watching a Netflix thing on the train and some character or other said ‘There is only one way to get from a No to a Yes & that is through a Maybe’ & it made me smile because I had just completed a long winded but gentle negotiation with a job board.

Now, in the old days I used to avoid the annual negotiation with the job boards in the vain hope that they would almost forget about SSG and then ‘need’ to get a deal done with us, but in the last few years my attitude to the job boards (like almost everything else business related) is to tackle things really early on & to initially ask for a deal which is probably just plain unreasonable.

Of course the answer I almost always get is No - & it is at that point that I begin my journey towards a Yes through a Maybe. The quickest route for me to get what I want is for me to take my time.

OK – so the moral of the story is clear. Take your time. Plan out what you want. Look at where you want to get to and take your time. Accept that everyone needs to get the best deal that they can – that we all want to ‘win’.

As a business owner you need to remember the following:
• There is only one way to get from a No to a Yes & that is through a Maybe.
• The quickest way to anywhere is to take your time.
• Play the long game and start a little unreasonable.
• Be gentle, polite and clear about what you want.
• Be patient with your adversary – they need to retain their version of a ‘win’ too.

So, the next time you feel like shouting or slamming down the ‘phone or trying to bully someone into something – don’t. Visualise where you want to be and imagine that you had all of the time in the World to get there. Let them have their ‘win’ too – give a little but remain focussed on what you want and how you want to be remembered.

The amazing thing is that it almost always works but you have to always act that way & always take your time and always plan well ahead. Go on, try it – you’ll see!