Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey – Workplace Culture Experts & Barefoot Wine Founders

By Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey – Workplace Culture Experts & Barefoot Wine Founders

Play The “No” Game

Play The “No” Game 150 150 MIchael and Bonnie Harvey

There are few things worse than being told “No.” We’ve heard it a million times. It might be the least fun part of any business! How do you fight the “no”s while keeping spirits up until you find a “yes”?

We wound up making a game out of it—It’s easy! The object of this game, the “no” game, is to count how many times you were told “no” before you finally heard a “yes”. Keeping track is part of the fun!

Using this game, you can find the average number of “no”s your team gets before they find a “yes”. Then, you can aim to come in under that number, using different strategies, skills, and tactics that you learn along the way.

Everyone on your team can play this game. After all, you all have the same goals, and you’re likely met with more than one “no” on a daily basis.

Here are the rules:

Find the Average Number of “No”s. Encourage everyone to compare their results and notes. Over the next month, keep track of how many times they heard “no” before they heard “yes”. Take the average for both each teammate and the whole team. In Barefoot’s case, the average number was seven!

 Then, when anyone complained about a “no”, we asked them how many times they’ve tried so far. If that number was four or five, we’d say, “You’ve just begun! You haven’t even hit the average yet!” And if that number was 10 or 15, we’d say, “Great! You must be very close—keep trying; you’re overdue for a yes!” We’d all have a laugh. Just thinking about this adversity as a game was enough to raise our spirits and keep us determined in our quest for a “yes”.

Ask on Another Day. This seems ridiculous, but sometimes our team asked the same person the same exact question on another day—and got a yes! Maybe their mood changed. Maybe they forgot they even said no in the first place. Or maybe they had time to mull it over and finally realized “yes” is the better option.

Ask Another Person. Maybe there’s suddenly a new decision-maker who wants to hear more about your proposition! Or maybe you’ll get another person who sees it differently. It happened often where we were stopped (or, rather, “delayed”) by assistants who wanted us to think they had the power to say “yes” when they really didn’t. Eventually, we understood their restricted decision-making abilities. We’d get the opportunity to speak to a higher-up (since the assistant was sick that day) who would say, “Yes! We definitely need this!”

Ask in Another Way. Have you been asking the wrong question? Or putting it the wrong way? Consider your request. Think about how the decision-maker would benefit from your proposition. Then ask how you can help solve their problem. Think about what will get you a “yes” and move on from there. Who knows—they might just need to hear something different.

Share What Works. When you finally hear the “yes” you’ve been waiting for, share with your team how you got there, so they can apply the same strategy. Make sure to include how many “no”s you heard before you heard one “yes”. How does it compare to the average? You can make this fun and educational. And most importantly, it can encourage the entire team.

Keep in mind—there isn’t really a “yes” or “no” in the business world. People can say no and later say yes. People can say yes and then avoid signing a physical contract! The real answers are “now” and “later”. You say no when you stop asking, so play the “no” game until they say “yes”—now or later!

For more, read on: http://c-suitenetworkadvisors.com/advisor/michael-houlihan-and-bonnie-harvey/