Receiving and giving the “yes”

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Yesterday, I received two uplifting “yeses”. In the first, Construct Canada confirmed I would be invited as a speaker to the conference’s seminar program based on my Construction Marketing Ideas book.  In the second, I received a surprising invitation to be a “Top Contributor” to Google’s AdSense Help Forum group.

Neither of these acceptances directly will bring in piles of cash (if any at all).  But both represent invitation to groups where not all who wish to enter can be invited.  We like to be liked.  We especially like to be liked or admitted into  exclusive groups reflecting our values and objectives.

There is a converse principle here which I’ve started applying in my marketing approaches.  When third-party organizations who might appear to be competitors approach me to promote their organizations or explore co-operative ideas, I watch my tendency to say “no”.  Instead, I now look for ways I can help, contribute, or support the initiative.  I say “yes”.

Sometimes, I sense, at the start this approach seems counter-intuitive and uncomfortable.  “Why should I help someone who might be my competitor?” is a natural question to ask.  But genuine selflessness and co-operation creates a positive karma.  Simply put, when we say “yes” to options which take us in new and interesting directions, our perspectives are enhanced and we see opportunities we might otherwise have missed.

There, after all, is some merit behind the story of the “Yes Man” movie.  Saying “yes” opens up possibilities, creates good-will and invites growth.  (Of course we don’t need to go nuts about this:  If the “yes’ requires me to spend lots of cash and/or time, I’ll evaluate it realistically.)

Next time, when you are preparing to “chase a bid” or start a set of cold calls, consider that you might get better results by offering support, assistance and resources and saying “yes” to others.  You might just end up receiving a few “yeses” in return.

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