When No Doesn’t Mean No
Publication: RidiculouslyExtraordinary.
Posted by Ryan Neal
When No Doesn’t Mean No
Publication: RidiculouslyExtraordinary. Posted by Ryan Neal

Before I began the roller coaster tour I got a lot of noes from theme parks, sponsors, and press. It was basically 99 noes for every yes, which is disappointing and deflating. But I kept rollin'.

I asked for help where I thought I needed it and got even more noes.

For example, one of the people I contacted runs a very large coaster website. There are quite a few coaster enthusiast websites. (I'm not a coaster enthusiast, btw, I just think they're fun.) I asked him if he could help me as far as getting free tickets to parks since he already had contacts at most of the parks I'd be going to. His response was essentially "Haha, yeah right, they're not going to give you free tickets." Although instead of making it that easy he wrote 3 long paragraphs trying to knock me down. :)

My response to that was simple: "Hey, thanks for your help!" Because as you know crabs will always try to bring you down, but you don't have to let them.

Then I contacted Louis at CoasterFusion and he was not only incredibly supportive, but incredibly helpful. He gave me the contacts he had and I started e-mailing people. Almost immediately I got positive responses. I still got noes, but now we were onto something.

After a few "yes" responses and a few more "no" responses I took a step back to see why some were giving me a yes and some a no. What I saw was that in every case of "no" I was asking the wrong person.

No Isn't No If It Comes From The Wrong Person

Knowing who you should talk to is just as important as having a solid pitch. If you pitch someone who has no authority then of course you'll get a negative response. Since they're not in a position to give you a positive response the negative response is default.

After figuring this out I took the next step. I picked up the phone and started calling the right people. They're not necessarily easy to find, but it doesn't take an extraordinary amount of legwork. This strategy worked like gangbusters. My yes/no ratio went from about 50/50 (email) to 95/5 (phone).

If you speak with someone who has the authority to do what you ask they are usually happy to help.

They may even be thrilled to help.

What To Do When You Get A "No"

No matter how solid your pitch you're still going to hear "no" on a fairly regular basis.

When that happens ask yourself "Is this really a no?"

In other words, is it "no" from a person who has the authority to grant you a "yes"? If so, cutting your losses and moving on might be your best bet. That said, persistence pays! It depends on what you're doing and how badly you want or need that yes.

Is there some other reason for the no? Maybe the person was busy? Maybe your pitch was off? In this case, it's probably worth a shot to try again. It may also be a good idea to contact someone else at the organization who has the authority to grant your yes.

No Isn't No Until It's No

I know it's difficult to persist when things might not be going your way, but if you're trying to achieve anything of value you really have no choice but to keep at it.


How do you deal with "no"?