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Just Say "YES"!

Published: Mar 09 , 2018
Author: Brian Buck

We won gold in curling? I mean, we won gold in curling! Admittedly, I'm a fair-weather curling fan. In fact, outside of the Olympics, I associate curling with an exercise done at the gym. But I digress... the US, in a stunning upset, beat Sweden to win Olympic gold. For the first time ever! That's quite a feat.

On their way home from Korea, they decided to test their gold medal cache by asking their airline, Delta, for an upgrade to first class on the way home. What a perfect PR opportunity to celebrate US Olympic gold.

Can you guess what Delta said?

For any of you that are frequent travelers and know how rare upgrades are nowadays, you probably guessed the answer... "No".  And this was done over social media. As you could imagine, backlash was swift. I mean, how can they treat our Olympic Curling heroes this way?

After seeing the backlash, I was reminded of the power of "yes". When we say “yes” it creates action, put things into motion, and opens up options. When we say “no” it stops action, kills creativity, and closes doors.

Delta had the opportunity to create an infinite amount of possibilities just by saying “yes”. I assume, based on their statements, they felt like they could not say “yes” because they literally had no room in first class to accommodate the gold medalist. Had they been more biased to “yes” they could have found some interesting ways to do it. For instance...

After some pleasantries and a brief explanation of situation, something like, “Congratulations! We would love to accommodate your request but unfortunately first class is booked full on your flight so…”

“If your schedule is flexible and you could switch to a flight where we are have room in first class, then we’d be honored to upgrade our Gold Medalist to first class.”

Or…

“If other passengers on your flight would be willing to give up their seats in first class, then we’d be happy to welcome you to first class.”

Now who has the problem? Our Gold Medalist do. They can have what they want as long they either move their flights or convince others to give up their seats. In the end, it’s now on the Gold Medalists to make it happen.

Next time you have the urge to say “no”, take a moment and try to figure out how you could say, “yes”. If you can say “yes” more than you say “no”, you’ll be surprised at all the opportunities that will come your way.

Dare I say, “yes” might even earn you a gold medal in your next negotiation!


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About the author:

Brian Buck
As an entrepreneur, business owner, and Fortune 500 business executive, Brian has spent his career building winning teams and driving successful companies. Brian has spent the last 20 years within the marketing and advertising industry developing successful consumer engagement marketing strategies for trusted brands such as Google, Amazon, Samsung, Virgin Mobile, Microsoft and Sony.

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If you’re anything like me, you like to combine good results, with the least amount of work. I was fascinated to hear President Trump claim last week that he “didn’t think he needed to prepare very much” going into his summit with Kim Jong-Un to discuss denuclearizing the Korean peninsula. While we’ll all have to wait a few months to seriously measure the success or otherwise of that initial Singapore meeting, (and - like everything else in this deeply divided nation right now - opinions tends to be heavily influenced by which political party you happen to support), it got me thinking about the minimum amount of preparation necessary to go into a serious negotiation.

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