As I walked from the reception area of the bank toward the office of the loan officer who had my loan papers drawn up and ready for my signature, I couldn’t help but notice a sheet of paper on the counter advertising “Limited time only lower interest rates.” Since the amount was lower than the rate I was paying, I picked up the sheet and took it with me.
The loan officer (I’ll call her Becky – ’cause I don’t want her to sue my fanny), greeted me with a smile and handed me my papers to sign. I pleasantly said, “I saw this advertisement with a lower interest rate in the lobby. Can I get this rate? She flatly (not pleasantly, but, to be fair, not unpleasantly either) replied, “We don’t negotiate loan rates.”
I paused. I waited for her to continue. She said nothing. I calmly said, “The last time I got a loan here, I remember the lady actually offered me a lower rate than the one she originally told me. I wonder why that was…”
I paused again. I waited again. Finally she said, “Well I don’t know why that was, but we don’t negotiate rates. They are published right here on this sheet.”
I paused once more. I BEGGED her with my eyes to give me SOME sign that she was at least SORRY that she couldn’t give me a better rate. She said nothing.
I replied, with NO emotion in my voice whatsoever, “Okay, give me the papers.” I signed them and left.
I didn’t like that interaction. I don’t want to do business with them again. I certainly wouldn’t recommend them to anyone. And then I got to thinking. There are times in our lives (both personally and professionally) when we MUST say no to people. So how can it be done in such a way that they still like us and want to do business and/or have a relationship with us?
I believe that when people believe that you have to say no AND you really, sincerely regret that you must say no, not only are they much more likely to accept that fact, but sometimes they will feel the need to try and make YOU feel better! You will say things like, “Oh no, no, that’s okay. I know you would if you could.” Those people COULD walk away from the encounter respecting you more than they already did.
So go head – make someone’s day. Say no and then tell them how sorry you are and really, really mean it.
From your motivational speaker, Linda Larsen, who has NO HIDDEN POLITICAL AGENGA IN USING CLINT EASTWOOD’S PICTURE