“I mistrust all frank and simple people, especially when their stories hold together. – Hemingway
When I had my sales territory, I owned it. At least my customers thought I did. I was affectionately know as Mr. Dupont. I took care of business. All customer requests came through me. And some of them were doozies. None were dismissed out of hand.
I was asked for scholarships, bail money, to lay off gambling debt, plane tickets, graduation parties, honeymoon expenses, and rubbers and bubble gum.
From the sublime to the ridiculous. Never once did I say, “unfortunately.” Ever. Good clients were hard to come by and I wasn’t about to give them the flick of my wrist. They deserved to be listened to without slamming the door.
I never came right out and refused. I would always give them some time to think about what they were asking. Most times, it worked out.
I never wanted to be considered a lightweight, an errand boy. Sometimes I could help, sometimes I couldn’t, but I gave it a go. The ridiculous stuff was easy. But I never said no right off the bat.
Some people like to blame “them”, the management, company policy, or some technicality to absolve themselves of ultimate responsibility, but it only makes you look ineffective. An errand boy. Your boss isn’t going to help you gain or maintain business. Or bolster your reputation.
Rules are made to be broken. If you can’t do anything, at least look like you’re trying. Scrub “unfortunately” from your vocabulary. You own it.