Looking for Yes

From Seth Godin’s blog

Looking for yes

I hate going to the post office in the town next to mine. Every time I go, they look for a reason not to ship my package. “Too much tape!” “Not enough tape!” “There’s a logo!”

On the other hand, I really enjoy the few times I have something weird to ship fast… and I bring it to Fedex. The guy at the desk has a totally different approach. He’s not looking for a reason to say no, he’s looking for an opportunity to say yes. “Here’s some tape, we’ll just add it right here…”

The obvious reason is that the person at this post office has no incentive to make a sale. Okay, fine. But why doesn’t she? Why is it okay to have employees in any organization who look for a no? It turns out that the post office in my little town has a few yes men, people who look for a reason to ship my package even though they work for a big government bureaucracy.

The same thing happens with the tech crew before I give a speech. About 75% of the time, the lead tech guy (it always seems to be a guy) explains why it’s impossible. Impossible to use a Mac, impossible to use the kind of microphone I like, impossible to use my own clicker, etc. And then, the rest of the time, using the same technology, the producer asks, “how can I help make this work for us?” and everything is about yes, not no.

I don’t think it should matter whether or not you’re trying to make a profit. If you’re out to provide a service, or organized to deliver a product, then look for a yes. At every interaction.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Dansette