I believe in the “say yes” philosophy so much that I made it a major part of my presentation to Sir Richard Branson and the other entrepreneurs assembled at Necker Island when I was there in 2014. At the conclusion of my talk, Branson was quick to point out that he had instilled the same mindset throughout the Virgin Group, where their internal marketing slogan was “The answer’s yes – what’s the question?”
As Branson and I both know from experience, customer focus is not just some New Age touchy-feely Kumbaya concept. It’s the key to generating profit. So make it your business to find a way to say ‘yes’, because you never know where it will lead.
For example, I’m not a techie, not by a long shot. But if I hadn’t taken a leap of faith and said ‘yes’ to hybrid battery conditioning technology, I would never have been able to launch my newest venture, The Hybrid Shop. Back in 2012, I met one of the world’s leading technologists in all things hybrid, Dr. Mark Quarto. Mark worked at GM for 28 years as an Engineering Group Manager in Hybrid, Electric, and Fuel Cell Technologies. One of Mark’s major contributions to GM was architecting the diagnostic systems for prototype and production advanced technology vehicles. In addition to engineering, Mark is a professional educator that has taught these advanced technologies at original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and colleges and universities, in addition to other venues throughout the world.
Even though I didn’t totally understand all of the technology at the time I said “Yes”.
And that’s why I say that whenever somebody offers you an opportunity – inasmuch as it makes sense – find a way to say ‘yes’, because you never know where it might lead. I look at it this way: if you want profitable growth and a legion of lifetime customers, you have to start somewhere, and I guarantee you won’t get there by saying ‘no’. You can be sure that if you don’t say ‘yes’ to your customers, someone else probably will.