Go Ahead – Say NO. Make My Day

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


Motivational Speaker Linda Larsen, CSP has been described by meeting planners and audiences as "hysterically funny," and "riveting." Known for her ability to connect on an authentic and emotional level with audiences, her spontaneous sense of humor, and her engaging and powerful stories, Linda is passionate about sharing ideas to help people live their finest, best, and most productive lives. Her riveting and true story of being kidnapped and held hostage at gunpoint by an escaped convict, and the strategies she used to escape, will give people the tools THEY need to rise above any of life's toughest challenges, to communicate more effectively with THEIR difficult person, and to find creative solutions to THEIR problems. To book motivational speaker, Linda Larsen: 941-927-4700

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  1. This is a great post Linda! I think the first problem is that many people don’t care about their customers anymore. When we care about people, showing concern is a natural reaction. Sometimes we get so caught up in the stress of having to “deal with people” that we stop seeing them as people. And when this happens everybody loses. Maybe your banker felt like she had no choice. Policy wise, maybe not. But she did have a choice – a big one. And she didn’t make it. She could have chosen to at least act like your question mattered to her. That’s how banks lose customers.  And not just banks. It works for motivational speakers too.

    I just spoke at an event where the client was amazed that I would visit with the audience before the event. She said that last year’s speaker insisted on hiding out in a room alone, wanting no contact with the audience, claiming she needed to save her voice. It really impacted the way the client felt about that speaker. Maybe all speakers do this, I don’t know. But I am making a choice. To be accessible. That’s how I show I care. And sometimes it’s those little things that make the biggest difference.

    But you sure don’t need to hear this. Caring about your customer is who you are Linda Larsen! 

  2. Isn’t it sad too that there are people out there who just don’t get it?  She could have been so much more pleasant and saved the relationship.  Was it too late for you to not sign the papers?  Just the thought of her having to stop the process and start all over again may have persuaded her to adjust the rate.  Bummer, though, that more people aren’t like us motivational speakers who really do try to make a positive difference in the world!

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