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Can one of your emails turn a no into a yes?

Earlier in the week, I was pretty busy. I had a few hot potatoes to juggle. A polite message from a potential business partner was among them. In a nutshell, they wanted me to get started with a process that would aim to improve our pay-per-click ad performance, something I'd been working on in the past few weeks, and re-examining in detail in the past few days.

I said NO

My response to them said - let's hold off for a month, as I have a new colleague to get up to speed, and I'd been asked to do some goegraphically-focused adwords split testing. I had things to do, and I wanted this off my plate.

They said NO

Their response to me said - no, don't hold off for a month, that would be a mistake. And they went on to detail several very good reasons, based on analysis of our PPC ad campaigns, where they could see we were underperforming, and missing opportunities. They knew I'd seen the audit, I'd seen the track recrod and that I knew they could deliver the goods - but they reminded me of all this in just a few short paragraphs. A pretty ballsy response - but in fact, very impressive. They restated succintly all of the beefits that their service would offer, and had the bravery to tell me I was making a mistake and potentially wasting money by holding back, and also let me know they had some swagger, brio and confidence.

I said YES

So I responded to that and said "You're right, I'm just procrastinating. Let's get started guys". Today we had a brief call, and I signed off on it there and then and gave them the access and authority they needed to do their job. And I am confident they'll do a great job.  

  • Think about how you deal with customers fobbing you off and deferring decisions, and consider the possibility that, in one succint message, you could change their minds - immediately.


David Petherick is Head of Digital at EnergySys, can be found tweeting at @petherick, and covers tech news at @clarocada. You can also connect with David on LinkedIn. That image comes courtesy of pakorn at