The Most Powerful Word in Business

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The Most Powerful Word in Business

Episode Summary

Two little letters can make all the difference in your business career.

In fact, these two little letters can make all the difference in your quest to make a great living and live a great life.®

You will be amazed at the success that follows when you make the word “NO” your default response to all business requests.

Listen to this episode of the Valtimax Podcast and discover the one business strategy can free up your time, help you make more money and earn you a place among business elite.



The Most Powerful Word In Business

Hello again, Workplace Warriors. This is Dave Lorenzo and I want to welcome you to another edition of the Valtimax Podcast. That’s right. We are back this week to talk to you about the most powerful word in the English language. You heard me correctly. It’s the most powerful word in business. It could be the most powerful word in your personal life and it could help you make a great living and live a great life, and it’s only two letters long.

That’s right. It’s only two letters long and it’s powerful. It can make all the difference in the world. The sooner you embrace this beautiful little two-letter word, the sooner you will be able to make a great living and live a great life. We’re going to tell you all about it after we tell you that you have to subscribe to the Valtimax Podcast, folks.

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Now, let us talk about the most powerful word in the language of business and in the language of life. The most powerful word is the two-letter word “No”. The two-letter word “No” is the most powerful word in the language of business and here’s why.

When you make “No” your default response, when the word “No” is your automatic response to any question, you project power and strength. Why? Because it’s much harder to say no than it is to say yes. It’s more difficult to say no. Believe me. It’s human nature. People want to say yes because they want to please others. They want to make others happy. That’s human nature, but it’s against your best interest to make yes a reflexive response, because when you just say yes to everything, people will take advantage of you.

In business, you can never ever allow that to happen. In business, you must make decisions based upon facts and never ever upon emotion. I hear people tell me all the time, “Oh, I have a great gut feeling and my gut is always right, and my gut does this, and my gut does that.” I will tell you from past experience, the people who make decisions based on emotion are most often unsuccessful.

You need to leverage the facts when you make a decision. You need to find out what all the facts are or the majority of the facts or a preponderance of evidence, if you will, when you’re making a business decision. Saying yes is easy, saying yes is natural, and saying yes is everyone’s default response, but saying no will greatly expand your options, saying no demonstrates strength, and saying no demonstrates that you have control over your own emotions. It demonstrates that you have control over your ability to chart your own course throughout your life.

All right. Let me give you some examples. There are two very specific times when you absolutely, positively must say no. The first time is when you don’t have all the facts necessary to make a good decision. The second time is when you are emotional. Under those two conditions, you must absolutely must always say no.

Here are some examples. Let’s take a biz negotiation. The first offer you receive in a business negotiation is almost never the best possible offer. Let’s say you’re negotiating with another business and you’re negotiating the purchase or sale or a business unit. The person who came to you comes to you and they say, “We would like you to buy our business and here’s the price we’re thinking of.”

Do you think that’s the price that they will accept categorically? Absolutely. They would accept that price but perhaps they would accept the lower price. That’s the starting price. You must always say no to the first offer. What saying no to the first offer in that case does is it gives you the opportunity to gather facts, to gather information, to find out where the points of leverage are in the negotiation, to find out the motivation behind their need to sell, to find out why they want to sell now.

Saying now buys you time to make a better decision and to counter their offer with an offer of your own. If you say yes right upfront, you’ll lose all that opportunity. Now, you’re thinking to yourself, “Okay, Dave. In that setting, in a business negotiation, who would say yes to that first offer?” They’d have to be a fool to say yes and most often, it doesn’t work that way. You would be amazed.

I meet with business people each and every single day and when I meet with them, I hear a new story that absolutely shocks me. I almost always hear a story where someone comes to them and they approach them and they make a first offer in a business deal, maybe the business deal is perceived as insignificant or the person has great investment emotionally in the business deal and they say yes to the first offer or they’re desperate and they say yes to the first offer. That is absolutely the wrong way to approach a business negotiation. In a business negotiation, you always say no to the first offer because it gives you time to collect more facts.

Now, what happens if you say no to the first offer and that person goes away and makes a deal with someone else? My contention is that that deal was a deal that wasn’t meant to be. However, you should after you say no to the first offer and if you have an interest, figure out a way to make a counteroffer. This prevents that person from going away and completely and totally losing you in the transaction. However, if the person doesn’t allow you to come back and make a counteroffer and you said no to their first offer, I’ll tell you that the deal was not meant to be.

Now, most business negotiations are far more complex than this, but keep this in mind. There are deals that you perceive to be small deals right now, that you are saying yes to the first offer when you can and should say no in order to make a better deal, gather all the facts and make a better decision.

All right. Another opportunity, another chance, another time when you should categorically say no as your default answer is when a salesperson comes to you and they’re looking to sell you something. Anyone who sells something for a living has one purpose in mind when they come to you, that’s to sell something. That’s why they call them sales people. They don’t call them non-sales people. They don’t call them perhaps sales people. They call them sales people. They’re looking to sell things to you.

When someone comes to you and they say, “I’d like to sell you this and it’s great. It does this, this, this and this and here are the benefits to your company, and you’re going to love it because it has the following features,” and you get all hot and bothered and excited for what they have, and then they say, “… and the price is …” and they lower the boom on you with the price, you should say no, and you should say no immediately because that person’s role is that they are a salesperson, they are there to sell, they are there to make that transaction happen.

When you say no, you flip the dynamic of the sales process on its head and you force them to come back to you with a better offer. They may not come back to you with lower price. They may come back to you with something of additional value. They may come back to you with something else that you can get as a result of paying their initial price. However, you will always get a better deal if you say no upfront.

In the rare instance, rare instance when saying no to the first price offer from a salesperson completely kills things, you’re better off because someone else will come along selling the exact same thing tomorrow and you can but it from them if you want on the first offer, although you never should.

Now, let’s talk about the dynamics of the sales transaction. When you say no to the salesperson’s initial offer, let’s say, the initial price, you have an opportunity to gather some facts. Let’s say, you’re shopping for a car, and you walk on the lot, you’re looking at a car, you test drive the car, the salesperson goes into his manager’s office, they do the numbers, they pretend they’re talking and they’re really talking about something else. They pretend they’re talking about your deal, and the person comes out and they say, “Okay. Here’s the best we’re going to do. This is the price,” blah, blah, blah, and you say no.

They go back in the office again, they pretend to talk some more and they come out, and they say, “Well, we can do this instead.” Eventually, the price gets closed and then they take you down the hall and you hear about undercoating and you hear about power adjustable seats and fabric protection and everything else, and the price becomes something completely and totally different.

What you need to do is you need to remove all those emotional tactics from the sales process. What you can do is you can go out and you can shop for the best possible price for the car by doing your research online, gathering the facts, and you can in fact send someone else in to make the deal for you at various different car dealerships. There are people out there now that will do this as a service.

Why is that the smart decision? Because you’re not emotionally involved in the process. Remember, there are two times I told you when you should always categorically say no to a deal or to a sales process or to any specific transactional relationship. The two times are number one, when you don’t have all the facts, and number two, when you’re emotional.

Buying a car, very, very likely that you don’t have all the facts in your first walk-in to a dealership. Your first walk-in to a dealership, your outcome has to be, “Hey, I just want to drive the car.” Then you go home, you do all the research afterwards once you’re comfortable on the car that you want and you know the car that you want and you have somebody else go in and negotiate the final price based on the research that you’ve done.

These are called car brokers and there are tons of them out there. There’s probably one in your city. You can find one the next time you want to buy a car. You may pay a bit of a commission to the car broker but it’s absolutely worth it not to be emotionally involved in this big purchase. Same thing with buying a house. That’s why you have a real estate agent to work with you, a buyer’s broker who work with you to get you the best deal possible.

Now, I’m going to tell you that most people won’t do this because they think it’s too much work. Honestly, you will receive the best deal possible when you remove emotion from the equation for any big purchase, whether you’re buying a car, you’re buying a piano, you’re buying a diamond ring, an engagement ring, a necklace, a watch. Always seek the advice and the counsel of an expert, get the facts, do your research, say no to the first price and send the expert in to do the negotiating for you because you will not be emotionally involved in the transaction.

The final example I will give you in when it makes sense to say no is when someone asks for your time. You heard me right. When someone asks for your time, your initial reaction should always be to say no upfront. Make a person prove to you why they need five minutes of your time. Make a person sell you on why they should spend 20 minutes with you. If you’ve ever been around a senior executive of a Fortune 500 corporation, you know the demands on their time are enormous. You know that the people who are closest to them can’t even get five minutes of their time.

What happens? People have to send an agenda. They have to send a reason why they want to speak to this person and then this person has a personal assistant who goes through each of the agenda items and determines what’s the most important and how much time each person gets. Yet we, as business owners, as lawyers, as doctors, we don’t think like that.

Somebody says, “Hey, you got a minute?” or they call you on the phone and they say, “Hey, can I bounce an idea off of you?” The next thing you know, 20 minutes, an hour, 45 minutes gone from your life, completely gone. You’ll never get that time back. It is a perishable commodity and you just gave it away.

When someone asks for your time, your initial response has to be no. What you can say is, “No, I don’t have a minute right now. However, if you send me an e-mail with the reason you want to speak, I’ll let you know if I have time available to discuss that topic later,” or if you say, “No. What’s the issue that you want to talk about?” “I want to talk about XYZ.” “The person you want to speak to is …” and you give them the name and information of how they can reach the person they want to speak to.

Always, always, always say no when someone initially asks for your time and you’ll be amazed at what happens. Sixty to 70% of the people will give up and they will never call you back, they will never bother you again. They will figure out their own problems.

Now, the exception to this is when you’re dealing with clients and customers. When you’re dealing with clients and customers, you have to set expectations. If a client or customer asks for your time, you say to them, “Unfortunately right now, I’m involved in something pressing and I can’t give you my complete and total attention, and I know you deserve it. What I want to do is I want to set a time for us to speak about this critical issue. Are you available at 4 PM today, from 4:00 to 4:15? I’ll call you when we can discuss it.”

When it comes to clients and they ask for your time, they’re paying you, so you control the agenda, you control the start time, you control the stop time and you make sure that you have the time available but you never ever, ever give anybody the time right in the moment when they ask for it.

Let’s go back and recap. Emotions are the enemy of good decision making, so you always need to use this two-letter tool “No” when it comes to making decisions because you can delay decision making until you can gather all the facts and let the emotions of the moment pass you by.

Never ever, ever agree to anything in the moment, under pressure, under duress. Always wait until you have the opportunity to gather the facts and until you have the opportunity to distance yourself from the emotion of the situation and you will be amazed at how this two-letter word “NO” helps you make a great living and live a great life.

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