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The Indispensable Agent“A dose of strategy, a dash of inspo, & a few tall tales.”

“Stop Saying Yes’ 

How many times did you say “no” this week? 

As salespeople and entrepreneurs (or anyone else really) our world is full of obligations and demands on our time. We are faced with requests and solicitations on a daily basis that can quickly become overwhelming. We specialize in getting other people to say “yes” and it can be very difficult for us to turn around and say “no” to someone else. I have often heard the refrain and found it to be pretty accurate that some of the easiest people on the planet to sell something to… is a salesperson. We get so programmed to go for a “yes” that we often find ourselves susceptible to the very same tactics. Unfortunately, every time you agree to let someone have “a few minutes of your time”, agree to go to that lunch or coffee meeting so they can pitch you, or agree to jump on a call with them even though you know you don’t want their services, every time you do this, you are not only saying “yes” to them but more importantly you are saying “no” to your true priorities.  

I say yes too much, but that’s not really the problem. The problem is that I don’t say “no” often enough. We are trained from birth to choose by pointing, and then later to choose by voicing our desires (saying yes). Unfortunately, many of us never learn the much more important skill of saying no. No is a complete sentence. A finished thought. A definitive answer. A statement that gives clarity and power. A boundary. A limit. A starting point. A foundation that can be built upon. A priority. I think that last definition is the most important priority. By saying “no” to something, you are clearly and definitively outlining what your priorities are NOT, which naturally leads to you spending more time on the things which are a priority. Most of us waste years of our life on things that we didn’t plan on, or that don’t fulfill us, simply because we failed to say “no” to them.  

How many times this week did you catch yourself wondering why you were in a certain meeting or thinking about how badly you wanted to get off the phone call you were stuck on? Have you ever stopped to think about how many hours each week you spend in “obligations” to which you should have said “no” and how quickly this time adds up from week to month to year? 

When was the last time you made a real decision? 

What is a decision? We always tend to think in terms of what we say “yes” to but it’s even more important what we are denying or turning away from when we make a real decision. When you make the decision to walk down a path in the forest, for example, what you have subtly done that is even more important is that you have made a decision to NOT walk down any other path but that one. You have said no to the dozens of other options in the vicinity. You have made a decision. Getting married is a decision. Being a father or mother is a decision, even if having a child is/was not. Standing by a friend in a time of crisis, no matter the cost to your reputation, is a decision. A real decision cuts off all other options and sends you hurtling down a path that will alter your life. The Latin root word for “decision” and meaning behind the evolution of the same literally means “to cut” or “to cut off”. When you make a real decision you are cutting off all other potential options, turning your back on them irrevocably without wavering or going back and forth on the matter, and proceeding forward. While we may think of it as saying “yes” to one thing, the real importance is the hundreds of things we have said “no” to in that same moment.  

Start making real decisions every single day. Start drawing clear lines for yourself and others around your priorities by saying “no” and sticking to it. Don’t say “yes” unless it aligns with your purpose and don’t say “yes” by omission. Yes by omission is when you don’t say “no” even though you know that you should. Instead, you don’t say anything. The task or the request or the ask just kind of hangs around, and then 48 hours later you somehow find yourself doing it. Because you were not proactive about being like – nope – not doing it. Not spending my time on it. You failed to make a decision and cut it off. 

Lead Generation & Creating New Opportunities 

One of the smartest ways you can use your email marketing tool is to use it to cross-promote your social media posts. One of my favorite strategies for doing this goes as follows: 

  • Find a notable listing in the MLS (or Off-Market) 
  • Write a brief post about it on social with a CTA to DM you for information/details  
  • Send an email blast to your database with a LINK to the post on social media 

For Example –  post something eye-catching that says “The best deal in Boise under $500K just hit the MLS today and I cannot believe I found it first, message me for details”.  Then send out a blast to your entire email list and tell people about the post (with a link to it)  with further remarks saying you already have several messages for more information and asking them if they want it as well.  

This is something you could do SEVERAL times a month to generate inbound opportunities. 


A Quote to Ponder

“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying ‘no’ to 1,000 things.” – Steve Jobs