How to Say No Without Saying No!

Last week my VIP Digest Blog was entitled,  Spending Time to Save Time.

I believe that you can’t manage your time until you know HOW your time is being spent.

But there is another part of the equation:   Learning how to say NO! 

As women, we try to fulfill every request.  We try to please everyone.  We sacrifice our personal time to reply to emails and phone calls from borrowers and real estate agents. 

We simply don’t want to say NO!

But saying YES comes with a cost.  Time away from family and friends.  Your hobbies.  Your personal time.  And let’s face it, people want to spend time with you—want a piece of you—but you’ll make yourself crazy if you accommodate them every time! 

So how do the pros say no without coming right out and saying it?   There are a couple of ways.  One is called “filtering,” the other is called “redirecting.” 

Filtering:  How much effort did the person invest in solving their own problem? 

So, a real estate agent calls you and says there is an issue with the home inspections, repairs need to be made and they want you to extend the interest rate lock.  Instead of hanging up and picking up the phone to see what you can do, ask what they have done (or could do) to meet the lock/closing dates. 

Or, you constantly have other loan officers calling you (or interrupting you when you are in the office) asking you mortgage underwriting questions.  Instead of answering the questions, ask what they have found when looking it up on the handbook. 

What you may find is they want YOU to solve their problems without any effort on their part!

Redirecting:  What do you want to talk/meet about? 

So, a client calls and wants to meet with you.  Another loan officer wants to pick your brain about…whatever.  Your friend wants your advice. 

Instead of immediately agreeing, ask them to send you an email with an outline of exactly what they want to talk about.  This forces them to actually “think” about it first.  You won’t waste your time trying to decide what they REALLY want to talk about.  Perhaps you could answer them with an email instead.  Or, you can’t help them but know of someone who can (a referral). 

If they are not willing to prepare for your discussion/meeting, then why should you take time out of your busy schedule to accommodate them? 

You Don’t Have to Make Excuses

I don’t know about you, but I always felt that I had to give people a reason why I could not make it to a social event, a meeting, a lunch.  I made up excuses (read: lied) about why I was not able to make it. 

The simple reason was that I really didn’t want to attend (I hate baby showers and would just rather send a gift) because it took time away from something else that I REALLY wanted to do! 

Instead say “I’m sorry, I can’t make it.” 

I hope these tips help you say NO more often so you can spend time on what you really need to accomplish!