Learn to Say No, and You’ll Get Hell Yes
In the world of high school athletics, the three main groups of people you’ll deal with daily are actual sport coaches, parents, and the athletes themselves. More times than not, you’re gonna hear the exact reasons why none of these people will be able to take part in your programs.
Regardless of how much time and money you spend on info products and certifications, there’s always going to be more people who have no use for you or your program than those who worship the ground you walk on. I know it sucks, but it’s reality.
This reality brings out the number one word you’ll hear along the way more than any other word… and that’s “NO”. All the excuses combined translate into the same two letter word, the same word that keeps you awake at night.. frustrated as hell.. and mad at everybody. I know because there was more than one time I was about two seconds from double-legging some sport coaches and choking them out – seriously.
I used to get so mad when I’d hear a coach feed me lines of bull about their program, and how he respected what I did but really didn’t think ‘all that lift’n weights’ was needed . Or when a parent starts spouting off about how they know exactly what their kid needs.. and how they can do exactly what I can.. but simply doesn’t have the time to do it.
Yea right… OK Buddy…
On the flip side, when an actual human being showed interest in my programs, no matter what a person asked me or what I was able to do, I never said “NO”. Never gave the impression what they wanted was a bit removed from what my business was about. Never even thought about the repercussions of taking on situations I had no interest or desire pursuing. I mean if I was going to build my business, then why would I ever say no – right??
That’s how I felt for years. Read that again — years. Pretty freaking dumb if you ask me.
As time passed I realized I had to take a harder look at why I was getting NO’s (excuses) all the time.
Here’s 5 out of countless reasons why I used to (and you probably are) hearing “NO”:
1. I was looking in the wrong areas. Sometimes the best fits for your programs or services are right under you nose. Exhaust all your short arm opportunities before sailing uncharted waters. Nothing wrong with aiming for the stars but make sure you have the right ammunition.
2. My vocabulary was impressive to fellow performance coaches, but sounded fake and intimidated prospects. If people cock their head sideways, squint, and give a confused look you might want to tone it down a bit. Parents and coaches say things like “I could see the muscles coming out of his jersey” or “our d-backs couldn’t cover those guys, we need to get a ton faster”. Never has a coach asked me if i thought static overcome by dynamic front foot elevated split squats for heavy sets of triples was better than below parallel box squats for 24 reps of total tonnage. If you sound like a dork you probably are a dork. Just saying…
3. I tried to be too flexible with programs and had about 20 different training options. Analogy: If you’re thinking about buying a couple new pieces of equipment, that would be nice to have but not really a necessity, and start leafing though a Perform Better catalog, chances are you won’t buy anything. With so many choices you get overwhelmed and decide it’s easier to use what you have and revisit the new equipment option later. The same thing goes through your prospect’s mind if you have too many training times and/or program options. Limit yourself to no more than 3 program options, and pound the shit out of them.
4. I did all the talking and only talked about what I thought they needed. Big mistake. Just like in dating, if you want to make an impression, go beyond listening and actually hear what the person is saying. Somewhere in there you’re gonna find exactly what they’re looking for, and decide if you’re the right fit. I did a complete video series with examples showing exactly how you do this. (Click here to check it out.)
5. I thought everybody else was an idiot, and my masterful programs full of unbelievable results spoke for themselves. Turns out the man in the mirror was the moron. More than anything parents want to provide opportunities for their kids. Don’t let a handful of nut jobs cloud your opinion of parents. There more than enough good people out there to go around. Sport coaches want quick, EASY, and results. Give it to them. Athletes want to be a part of something bigger than they are. Make being in your programs more about the environment, atmosphere, and experience. Once you have this mastered the referrals will start rolling.
On the flip side, here’s 6 reasons why you have to start saying “NO” if you want to start hearing more “HELL YES”.
1. Save yourself time and aggravation. Don’t say yes to a group of 5th graders if your programs are based on high school athletes. If you don’t run ‘fitness programs’ for fat loss then go ahead and pass that to someone else you trust. If Saturdays are reserved for family, don’t let Saturday be an option. In the end, you’ll be happier because you won’t dread the times you have committed to these people who you really don’t want to work with. It’s not fair to them and not fair to you and your family.
2. Sell out small blocks of time first. One of the biggest mistakes I see newbie performance coaches make is having tons of available time slots for training. Don’t let others completely dictate when you offer workouts. Find 3-4 days per week, 3-4 hours on those days, and concentrate of selling out a predetermined number of roster spots. When those fill up, open up additional training times and do the same thing. You already know one-on-one and semi-private programs are asinine. There’s no sense being on the hook for 40 available hours of training when you’re only booking 3 kids per session. There’s nothing worse than waiting around until the 7:00pm session starts only to have 1 kid show up.
3. When you’re comfortable saying no, you’ll be comfortable in your services. In the beginning it’s gonna be hard to tell people you’re not their huckleberry, but you’ll quickly get over it. The best part about being OK with telling someone no is the confidence you get by knowing exactly who you serve. Time is well spent on how you can serve the right people better.
4. People will start to conform to your programs without you even knowing it. That’s right, people will see how busy and successful you are with your programs. They’ll see the results you’re getting and hear existing athletes raving about how awesome it is to train with you. What happens is people take a harder look at what they originally thought they needed, but quickly convince themselves that how you do it must be right. They’ll move past hiring a personal trainer at the fitness center and go to you. Besides, you’re busy, you get killer results, and people can’t stop talking about how much they love being apart of everything you offer.
5. You’ll weed out the rift raft. Gone are the days when mommy walks her 17 year kid into your weight room and says “no squats or heavy weights”. These people will know they’re in the wrong place 20 seconds after they see your workouts in action.
6. The phone will start ringing with people who want to talk about possibly working together. When it’s crystal clear who you are and what you do, people will be drawn to that. Just this week I had two separate organizations approach me about working together (one was a youth group that serves over 100 kids in two states, and the other is a massage therapy company with 15 therapists). They referenced the environment and experience our athletes get by training with FOCUS and wanted to bring that same feeling to their business.
Would love to hear if this helps your mindset in anyway. Leave your comments below. And don’t forget, if you send me a specific question I just might make a video answer just for you!