The Power of Asking and Learning From “No”

In the last update, “How To Create An Audience,” I mentioned that it doesn’t hurt to ask.

When I wrote that, it reminded me that we may not be on the same page about asking and learning from the word “No.” So… Here are some…

Things You Should Know About The Word No

Asking for something you need (like food or water) is usually easier than asking for something you want. I say this because when it is a basic need, hearing the answer no doesn’t pose a challenge. The person asking will continue until the need is met.

When a person is asking for something they want, the answer “No” seems to paralyze the asker and the pursuit stops. Why is that?

I’m sure that many of us learned from an early age that the word “No” meant pain. Granted. I understand that early training became an unconscious reaction to the word. To avoid the pain, we avoid situations where we may receive the word “No.”

Now, let’s look at it from the point of view of a mature adult. What is “No” and how does it effect us?

The word itself is merely an expression of boundaries.

Much like the word “Yes,” the word “No” tells us information with respect to what we are asking for. Yes tells us that what we are asking is allowed and the desire is granted.

No, on the other hand, tells us something needs to change before the desire is granted.

For example, I remember reading once about a car salesperson who sold fleets (cars to companies like rental cars).

He met with a representative of the company to ask if they could service 10% of the company’s fleet. The response was yes. He continued asking for additional business.

He story continued until he had received approval for servicing half of the fleet including the right to replace the vehicles when they would be replaced. Then, he received two no’s.

The point is that eventually he was granted his desire of selling card to replace and service 100% of the fleet for the large company. This was done after he had been allowed to “prove” his services using a part of the fleet.

Recipe For Learning From “No”

1) A dream
2) People
3) Courage
4) Understanding
5) the book “Go For No”

Step 1: Read “Go For No.”
Step 2: Write down your dream in a clear, vivid, descriptive way. Make sure you can feel what it would be like to experience living this desired experience.
Step 3: Draw from every ounce of courage you have stored up or borrow some courage from near friends and family. (A support group like Partnership To Success is very helpful.)
Step 4: Begin asking people for what you need or want.
Step 5: Listen to the replies with understanding that people all have different beliefs. If someone says No, it is an expression of their belief either about you, your service /product or about themselves.
Step 6: Learn what works and what doesn’t from the answers.
Step 7: Make a conscious change to how you ask or what you ask for.
Step 8: Repeat steps 5-7 as necessary.

Most Internet marketers call this “split testing” generally because we test the responses created by the website, ad, or product.

Thank you for reading. Please feel free to leave a comment and stop by our Facebook community to say Hi!


  • igor Griffiths

    Reply Reply April 22, 2014

    Well hello Rachel, love this post and it made me think about how successful and philosophical people think about no.

    Whilst we place a full stop after the word no. They place an apostrophe instead and continue to explore what is meant by the word no.

    All to often the no is to the way the question was framed and not to the possibility you hoped to achieve, thus like those people when we hear the word no we need to consider our options rather than coming to a full stop.


    • rachelbock

      Reply Reply April 25, 2014

      Yes! You totally get it!

      Many times “No” can be “not now” or simply the default reply someone gives.

      For example, consider what it means to say “Yes” to an invitation. It may mean that some action is necessary as a consequence of saying yes. If it is something new, one may have a fear of that new action that is necessary. In that case, “no” is the easy way to overcome the fear.

      This also reminds me of the second agreement of “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz which acknowledges that what others say and do is about them and their beliefs.

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field