Introverts can Go for the No, Plan for the Yes

In a Leadership for Life course, I was once given instruction to see how many times I could ask a question that could be answered by “No”.
“Get 10 No’s a day” was the recommendation. Really?? I hate it when people say NO!
Many thought this bizarre – why would we want to ask questions that seek a “no” response?
Aren’t we better off playing toward the “yes”?
But I knew exactly where this was going – I could sense it based on who I am.
I hardly ever asked questions that could potentially get “no” answers. Those were too uncomfortable. My introverted experiences with getting “no” shut me down. Just thinking about this made these huge vibrations go off in my brain – “You can’t handle NO!”
So when this course instructor said to get 10 no’s a day, I realized that was the best advice I could get for stepping out of my comfort zone, eventhough I hated it.
I began asking silly things of waiters – “may I have more water?” soon was followed with “could we have more rolls, too?” “Would you please divide up our checks separately?” and sometimes, “could I get this reheated?”
As I asked these questions, I felt  more authority.
I asked the questions with a smile on my face. In my intent to get 10 no’s, I was getting only yes’s. I couldn’t believe it.
Then the asking transferred into my business dealings. “Would you be willing to make this connection for me?” “May I attend that networking event with you next time?” and then slowly I began making the bigger asks – “Based on what you want in communication support, does this fit with what you have in mind?”
I felt fully alive. Suddenly, like when I stand backstage before I perform with my band – I felt expectation and hope when sitting with a prospect. I loved it. I didn’t know how the situation was going to turn out, but I knew I was prepared to accept it. Will they say no?
If so, I am that much closer to achieving my result of seeing how far I can go. But this was my business. Do I risk asking these tough questions? If so, I am leading. I am purposeful.
Can you relate?
If you can, it’s hard for you to ask for the sale. It may be hard to get a co-worker to assist you. It may be hard to delegate or to pick up the call to seek an appointment.
Desensitize yourself by seeking No.
Although you don’t plan to get the no, plan to ask questions that you otherwise woudn’t ask for fear of getting no. Simply asking while desensitizing yourself from the fear.
Try it for 7 days – get 10 no’s a day. Let me know what happens!

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On April 11th, 2012, posted in: introverts, NO, sales by
7 Responses to Introverts can Go for the No, Plan for the Yes
  1. I am so inspired by this post!

    • It doesn’t matter that you aren’t the first one to mraket; it only matters that you can bring value to the need. Can you provide a solution to a problem? (Yes, you can.) Are you able to clearly communicate what that value is? (I think you can.) Can you monetize it? (Hope so!) So many networking experts are the over-the-top let’s get everyone to meet everyone else at an event; just go up and introduce yourself. That really isn’t most people (me, included). So I say, go for it. And keep us posted! Oh, and by the way, I wasn’t surprised.

  2. Thanks – and which part? (not that I'm shamelessly asking for more pats on the back or anything)

    • Wellinton, thank you for adding to this conversation. It seems very “whole” to shift from one type to another. Notice what is at work when you do so – what motivates the change?

  3. well, my workplace requires us to make sales on 15% of our incoming calls. All we do is ask the client if they mind if we send them some additional info…so it's not even really sales. It's just getting them to say "sure, send it along."

    However, a lot of us don't like to ask out of fear that we will turn the person off. Recently, a lot more of us actually started asking and were just shocked at the amount of people who said "yes."

    I was just inspired because I was never told to "go for the NO" before. More often, people just say "do this more" or "be more assertive." I've never heard it presented that way but now I plan to use it not only at work, but in so many other life situations 🙂

    I have also forwarded this on to my HR person at work. She enjoyed it!

  4. Ha, love your story! This is proof of the point. Thanks for "weighing in"! I wish you continued success, at work and elsewhere, Alicia!
    And thank you for sharing the post. That is so appreciated.

    • I’m an ambivert. I love to talk with pepole when I meet new pepole or with my friend and family, but I like having my alone times too. I like to read alone, or listen to music, or just plain think. I actually never heard of ambivert before, I always considered myself a mix but I didn’t know there was a technical term for it. You learn something new everyday after all!

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