There is tremendous power in saying “no”.
I get calls at work from telemarketers selling everything from telecommunications to charity fund raisers. Charity calls are easy. I politely advise them that I already support the charities of my choice by direct and indirect methods. I then thank them for the call and wish them good luck on the rest of their calls today.
I was having defficulties with a particularly well organised printer salesperson. Our main laswer printer blew up and I didn’t have time to sort it out. So I delegated it to my PA. She didn’t have time to sort it out. In the mean time this sales person knew we were in the market and was pursuing the opportunity. Unfortunately she wasn’t qualifying us correctly. We were not about to spend big dollars on an essentially SOHO printer. We conduct most of our business by fax and email, very little printing.
I was reluctant to tell the salesperson to go away because I thought “what if she’s got something good?” My PA and I worked out the sort of printer we needed and ruled the higher end solution out. Then I told the salesperson we’d decided on a different direction. Politely, firmly and with a smile. End of interruptions end of second guessing.
We got the new printer a week later.