The word “no”. It’s one of the first words we learn as infants. First, we hear it; then we learn to say it. And we soon figure out that it’s one of the most frequently used words in the entire world.
No is very interesting. We often love to say it, but often hate to hear it. Some of us go to great lengths to avoid hearing it. Salespeople avoid making sales calls, kids avoid asking their parents stuff, guys and girls won’t ask for dates, people won’t ask for a raise…the list is endless.
As for me…I actually look for “no”. I dig for it. I probe for it. If it’s there – I want to find it. Seem odd? In my world of recruiting and helping improve people’s lives, it’s important to get my clients and candidates to say “no” if the situation isn’t right for them. What’s interesting is that many are reluctant to do so.
Example: A client interviews one of my candidates. The feedback is generally positive, but my client is clearly not sold on this person. As soon as I hear that (either spoken or unspoken), I immediately recommend that we decline moving forward. The client then often wants to pump the brakes and asks me to “keep them warm.” Wrong strategy. I’m not in the business of delivering mediocrity. There’s a better candidate out there. Let’s go find them. Don’t settle. Clients aren’t used to hearing that. They’re used to recruiters tying to sell their candidate at all costs…reservations be damned.
We use the same approach with candidates. Not excited about the job, the company, the culture, the compensation? Then SAY NO. Don’t say “I wanna think about it some more,” or “I’m just not sure,” or some other kick-the-can-down-the-road-tactic. Just say no.
“No” is a great answer. I’m not afraid to hear it. Are you afraid to say it?