Sometimes “No” Is Okay

Fear might be a good motivator, but it is a poor problem solver. Over the years, I’ve had to learn how to not be afraid of my clients. That is, I had to learn to not be afraid to ask for what I wanted. Honestly, what is there to be afraid of? They can always say no and, if they do say no, that just drops them down your client list.

I spent a lot of years being afraid of my clients. I didn’t ask for what I wanted because I was afraid that they would go somewhere else. I spent years and years trying not to do anything that might upset my clients. That is a crazy, ineffective way to live.

I had to completely change my mindset, thought process. I had to remember that people are people. Everybody has a role to play, an assignment to complete, and a job to do.  These might be different from yours but, in the end, people are people. They have the same feelings, thoughts and emotions that you have.

If you can get outside of your own thoughts and start to look at things from the client’s perspective many things come to light. You don’t have to beg and you don’t have to bend over backwards, there is a better way to ask for what you need.

I recently read the book Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss.  Chris spent years as a hostage negotiator and one thing he emphasise is that the language you use when asking for something really makes the difference.

There is a strange human phenomenon that we like to say no.  When you want them to say yes, you need to rephrase the question. The smallest difference in phrasing can change your results.  Instead of asking “Can I …” try “Is there any reason…” The second phrasing let’s the answer be no. When it comes to clients, I was always fearful of asking because I was approaching people the wrong way. 

When it comes to your business you can’t be afraid to ask for what you want and you can’t be afraid to tell your clients no sometimes too.  Do they want to offer you $50 for cancelling that order that you’ve already put time into? Say no. They want something in the scope of work that you don’t want to include? Tell them no and maybe educate them in the process too.

Yes, you might risk losing a client here and there. It might happen, I won’t say that telling a client no or asking for something could lose you a client.  Guess what, you’ll be okay losing that one client.  It will simply create a place for new business.

For more information on this subject, please download and listen to The Appraiser Coach Podcast Episode: 468

7 Comments on “Sometimes “No” Is Okay”

  1. Pingback: Sometimes “No” Is Okay - Appraisal Buzz

  2. Another good article Dustin. As we get older (and more financially secure), saying “no” in a polite way gets easier. I routinely read every AMC agreement and then tell my potential client the parts I don’t agree to. If they don’t negotiate with me on crucial items, I walk away. It’s amazing how many ridiculous items get waived – paying for the background check, delivery of a report 48 hours after inspection, sending in revisions 4 hours after notification, etc.

  3. Hello Dustin, Chris’s book is an excellent read. What I haven’t understood and maybe because it is my background, why not having conversations with your client about what works and doesn’t is so taboo. I hear it all the time at conferences, just seems weird to me. But hey I wear a Stetson so what do I know. Good timing and good info. Thanks

  4. Perhaps if more naïve appraisers say no to your scam to take money form them we would all be better off.

    You do not exist to help or be a great appraiser – you exist to suck blood from folks who don’t know the false importance you project!

  5. Wow….’ol Joe’ must have too much time available in order to offer suggestions! One thing you didn’t touch on, but maybe your podcast does, is NO appraiser has to accept every assignment that flows in. Due to a myriad of circumstances, sometimes it’s best to disengage even before starting. And there are also circumstances where the appraiser has to tell the client “no, I can’t continue” due to xyz…..what ever that may be.

  6. Yes Joe, say “No” to the ever reaching machine of others who want just a little off the top where of course the benefit is always advertised to be in the appraisers favor. Want a suggestion, stop the immorality of coaching a business where the business model includes the planning to work with AMC’s (I know, only the good ones). Profits before principles, and the churn of 4 to 9 appraisals a day needs to stop.

    On a side note, when was the last time the author provided a comment within his blog? Does Dustin even write this stuff, or is it outsourced to the Philippines? There are other blogs where the authors actually appear to write what they are saying, and respond to comments (not hear).

    Seek the truth.

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