Knowing no

I heard from a friend/colleague recently about a story in which she asked a venue to move a piano to accommodate her meeting. They said no. She immediately knew “no” did not necessarily mean “no,” but due to their lack of service approach, this was the easiest answer to give.

After she politely pressed them a little more, they finally agreed to move it for her. She knew when “no” meant it was impossible, such as trying to put a semi-truck in a ballroom on the 39th floor of a hotel without a freight elevator.

It was very realistic and very possible for the place to move the piano to meet the needs of the customer. The piano was on wheels, there was plenty of staff on hand to assist and there was no need to go up or down flights of stairs.

In your line of work, are you teaching your team to say no or to provide solutions and options? 

From a sales perspective, we are taught to offer ideas on how to make things work and still obtain the revenue. In operations, we also need to be able to offer ideas on how to solve problems because it could mean the difference between satisfying a group and having them re-book, or having them try the competition that says yes.

MPD: Know when “no” is really impossible.