Sometimes it's good to say No
We live in affirmative times. Everything’s the best of the best, lives are lived to the fullest, and everybody wins a prize. The epitome of it all? Buzzfeed’s world of warm and fuzzy positivity where accepted sentiment is limited to a Yes – followed, I presume, by a rousing chorus of Be Excited! – a world in which to utter disapproval is to risk being hounded as a hater or a troll.

The culture of Yes is fear-based
Many people fear that saying ‘No’ might imply they are unhelpful, unwilling or a poor team player. They fear being branded negative, or that a No might close down, rather than open up, opportunities.

A No rejects the lost cause of terminal saturation, seeking instead new tools for engagement.

Yet reframe the equation, and you begin to see No as an empowering response. The No which, by rejecting work which has no partner-fit, helps define and customise your operation to differentiate your niche. That frees up bandwidth for clients who value your expertise. That allows you to focus on important strategic tasks rather than the myriad distractions that wind up on your desktop.

Say No to assumptions
No turns accepted truth on its head. Think of the No from the graduate trainee that leads to beneficial changes in a process forged in the analogue days of 1998. The No which pushes back on the latest compliance caveat that will compromise your offer. And the No that insists on including a Live Chat function on the website to show the customer you really are interested in helping them buy.

In the Life market, saying No to assumptions means challenging the notion that maturity limits growth potential. A No rejects the lost cause of terminal saturation, seeking instead new tools for engagement, better data analysis to gain relevant insight, creative and product modifications to revive exhausted lists, and robust predictive models that consider both propensity to buy and propensity to lapse – positive actions to unlock potential value and provide growth.