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The best doesn’t come along too often, but the worst, the mediocre and the merely OK show up all the time. Thus, recognizing when to say “No” is more valuable than knowing when to say “Yes.” Eliminate poor choices quickly, and you save everybody’s time.
For instance, rather than training salespeople to persuade prospects to buy, “high-probability selling” assumes that enough people want to buy so that you should eliminate unlikely prospects right away.
When hiring, ask yourself what qualities you know you don’t want and eliminate those candidates first. One business owner immediately disqualifies candidates experienced only in consulting or investment banking. He wants people with hands-on experience.
Try to find “No” criteria in these categories:
Which job candidates will you say “No” to?
Which projects will you say “No” to?
Which intrusions on your time will you say “No” to?
— Adapted from “Making Better Decisions Through the Power of No,” Stever Robbins, www.SteverRobbins.com, and High Probability Selling, Jacques Werth and Nicholas E. Ruben, Bookworld Services.
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