Just Say “NO”…Nicely

The word “No”, it is surely one of the shortest words in the dictionary.  BUT  those in the quilting business must acquire the ability to say it confidently and clearly.  I know, we always hear “stay away from negative words”, but when it comes to customer contact, networking, and growing your business it is imperative to understand that it is okay to say “NO”…nicely.

In case some of you out there need some examples of when it’s appropriate (or alleviates your guilt) to share that word, here is a short list.

The Okay to “No” List (according to Lisa)

When asked to use red thread  on the top of the quilt, and white thread in the bobbin.

If you don’t think the color choice is going to work it’s okay to give your opinion.  I would hope customers would appreciate your input and concern for the outcome of their project.  You are only giving a suggestion, and if it helps you sleep better at night for heaven’s sake “Say what you gotta say!”…nicely.

When your customer feels that quilting their king size top should cost $60.00 to complete.

It is ultimately YOUR time, and what does YOUR time mean to you? It’s okay to kindly indicate the price YOU feel is appropriate (that’s if you want to quilt a king size top in the first place).  But if you know that the price and size aren’t to your liking kindly tell your customer no…nicely.

You are asked to give a lecture, very exciting.  The lecture is 5 hours away and they want you to speak for 2 hours, is it really that exciting?

Perhaps it’s considered exciting if you feel that after adding up all your expenses, and time taken to do the lecture you can find some margin of profit that would be beneficial to you.  Again there is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling that the distance just doesn’t meet the criteria that makes it a worthwhile venture.  Decline the offer by saying no…nicely.

Your quilt has caught the eye of a client who asks to purchase you prize-winning quilt for $400.00 dollars.

This should really be an easy “no”.  I realize that it is very flattering when a customer, or fellow quilter, is in awe of what you have designed. It’s especially attractive in regards to a project that’s been highly recognized and given a pretty blue ribbon.  However, the love, and sweat you poured into this amazing piece is way beyond $400. 00 if not priceless.  So give careful consideration when tempted to part with the quilt that has won “Best In Show”; be mindful of the dollars you are going to receive in exchange for the art you have created and probably will never forget.  You needn’t respond like Wonder Woman (although you may want to), but humbly say thank you and no…nicely.

Uttering the word “no” is not easy, but it needs to be communicated.  When I say communicated, I mean spoken “nicely” to that particular individual.  It’s not what you say to those around you, but how you say it that matters.  Done in a polite, respectful manner, the word “no” can be a very beautiful, short, and sweet expression.

Do you have a hard time saying no? Or maybe you can’t even fathom telling someone “no”.  Please share your experience on how you have/haven’t come to terms with that forbidden one syllable word.