In recruitment it is not always easy to get what you want or even what is needed to deliver top talent. Sometimes you just need to walk away and say NO to something that is headed the wrong way. Before sealing the deal’s fate with a NO, why not try what some refer to as the evil twin of YES, AND…try a YES, BUT.
I heard a recruiter recount a story recently in which a longtime client that had been increasingly difficult to work with asked a recruiter to do a search for a senior leadership role. The recruiter, overwhelmed with many easier-to-fulfill-upon open orders was going to say NO. A moment of inspiration hit the recruiter just before saying NO and they said, “YES, BUT I will require a search engagement fee of some proportion based on the importance of the role and time I will need to invest.” The result was an agreed YES and a retained search fee in place and working toward a filled position.
Almost all situations are a negotiation until someone says NO. Many years ago I read a book called You Can Negotiate Anything by Herb Cohen. It is a bestseller and worth the read if you are looking for a good book. Herb points out that until someone says NO, there is the potential to get to YES. It reminds me of Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber… “so you are saying there is a chance…” Do not be the one to close the door without trying to get what you want or need. Try YES, BUT and insert what you need to make it and keep it a YES.
Since we are talking about words and how a subtle change can make the world of difference, YES, AND is a far more positive way to move a negotiation forward. YES, AND builds positively on what was said before you answered. Think how much it will add a positive tone to the contributions you make in meetings and even in negotiations. So much better than NO or a negative YES, BUT we tried that before and it failed kind of response. For example…YES, AND why don’t we add this twist to ensure a great result. YES, AND we can add value by doing this or that. YES, AND we will get it done faster than originally planned.
Words do matter. Consider your options. Use NO as the last resort. Any favorites you want to share with us?