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How To Say No Without Saying No
Sean: Hey, guys! How’s it going? I hope you’ve been well. It’s me again Sean, Mr. CEO at 22. And today, we have a topic for you that you might be interested in, because a lot of people struggle with this. And that is: How to say no without saying no in work and in business?
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The first real way for you to say no is: You have to know what you stand for.
What are your principles? What are your values, things that you’re willing to be penalized for? The world will offer you a lot of opportunities, favors, requests that you think you can do, and maybe you can really do these things. But should you do these things?
I remember a story. One time I was approached by this company and it’s an online gambling company. And we have actually received tons of inquiries from these online gambling sites. And my grandfather actually struggled with gambling and we lost our family’s wealth because of that.
So I have a principle and a value of not getting gambling websites, not getting gambling clients, and I have never gambled in my life as well. That is something that I just want to veer away from. My dad gave me that advice to never gamble, never even touch it. Maybe it’s in the blood. I might get addicted to it. So I never even tried and I do not support gambling.
These online gambling companies, they have a lot of money. They can pay well. They pay a lot, but we outright reject them. We tell them that it is simply something that we don’t serve. That industry is something we don’t serve and they are free to look for other suppliers out there.
Sticking with your principles and values is so important because if you don’t stand for something, you actually fall for everything.
The second point today is: How to say no without compromising the relationship? So let’s just say you already know the client, you’ve done business with them. How do you deny or reject certain requests from them that are outside of your scope or outside of your principles?
Sometimes it is as easy as charging them much more than what they are willing to pay for. In Tagalog we call this presyong ayaw, right? It’s hard to say no to current clients because they feel like you owe them a favor. They feel like they hired you and you have to work for them. You have to do it for them. They’re paying you for it, which in fact they are not, right?
Usually when you have a contract there is a scope and you stick to that scope. Anything that they are requesting as a favor outside of that scope is another deal altogether. And it is actually in your right to reject whatever it is that they are requesting or asking, especially if it is outside of your principles as CEO, as a founder, or as a leader or as a manager, or if it is outside your company core values.
So how I usually do this is by giving them a price that is way out of bounds, so that they already realized that maybe SEO Hacker is not the company that we’re going to get for this certain task or this certain project.
Another way to say it is by simply saying, “Sorry, that’s out of scope and it’s not something we do, and it is not our expertise to do that for you. Feel free to look for other suppliers out there.”
And another reason why you would want to say this is it is actually best for you to stick with your area of expertise. So if they’re asking you for a favor or a request of something outside the scope of your work with them, and it’s not something that you’re really good at, just don’t get the project.
Stick to your expertise, because that is where you will please them the most and have a long term relationship with them.
I have so many clients that actually request things that are out of our real scope, and there are also times that it’s out of my principles as a human being. For example, there are certain politicians who have requested for us to find them a troll army, and I simply turn that down because it’s not something we do and it’s not something that I believe should be used by government officials in our country or elsewhere.
We also turn down requests for cleaning up names of certain politicians if they really committed things that are not right, and their search results when you search for their names are not pleasant. We actually reject those requests for us to clean up their names because they really committed those atrocities and it is not right for us to clean that up and cover it up for them.
Of course they are free to get other suppliers out there, and that’s not going to be an issue anymore. But as for me and SEO Hacker, it is against our principles. We know what we stand for, so it’s easy for us to say no to these things.
We also say no to porn stars and porn sites who ask us to do work for them or clean up some of their porn stars’ names in certain search results. These are things that are so easy for us to say no to, even if we are being offered a lucrative amount of money, because we know our principles and we know what we stand for.
So I guess the brunt of this lesson, of this episode that I hope you will get is: Know what you stand for, know your principles, make sure you write them down, put them to heart, be willing to be penalized for them and do not compromise. It would be so easy for you to make decisions and to say no in a kind and pleasant way if you know what you stand for.
So my challenge for you in this episode is, write down a script on how you’re going to be saying no to a client, maybe a friend or colleague who’s asking to borrow some money from you, maybe it’s going to be a friend or family member who’s asking you for a favor that you’re not comfortable with. Write down a script and if you can share it in the comment section below on what you think, and we will get to letting you know what we think as well.
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Again, this is Sean Si. Thank you so much for tuning in and I will see you in the next episode.