You are on your way to a conference to enjoy a few days of networking and training. You are excited to be away from the office for a few days to soak in new ideas and find inspiration to keep doing your job. You get checked into the hotel and start making some new friends.
Your cell phone buzzes. You ignore it.
It dings and buzzes again. You keep trying to ignore it.
Finally, you take a moment to check your phone and discover an email notification of an RFP your boss wants you to look at. You see a text from your boss asking if you got her email. As you open the email you get a phone call. It's your boss wondering why you haven't answered your email or text.
You explain that you were just reading the email when she called. She frantically explains the proposal is due in 5 days. We have to respond to this. Can you work on it at your conference?
You are deflated. You realize every spare moment you have will be spent putting together a rushed proposal. No networking. No extra time discussing marketing issues with colleagues. No downtime to just enjoy being out of the office.
Why can't I say, "No?"
Many A/E/C marketers ask themselves this question regularly. We get unreasonable requests that ignore who we are and what we were hired to do. So why can't we say "No" when it would be perfectly appropriate to say "No?"
There are several reasons why most A/E/C marketers cannot say, "No."
Back to the opening scenario. The boss says you have 5 days to respond to the urgent RFP. Rather than shriveling up into a ball of nerves and anger, resentfully saying, "yes," you can do the following.
Learn how to say, "No!" Saying "No" effectively means a lot of groundwork has been laid before having to say, "No." At the end of the day, it is your responsibility, A/E/C marketer, to lead your company in marketing excellence.
Gabe Lett, FSMPS, CPSM, LPC