Should you say yes?

How often do you say “yes” to customer requests?

How often do you say “yes” to win business you have no right to win?

For me it has been all the time. Early in a company’s life “yes” is the word that I think you should use all the time.

Even though I had boundaries on the services offered or the capabilities of the team, “yes” would be the answer to any and all requests. If I didn’t win the business, someone else would.

There have been times that saying “yes” has stretched the team in both ways, good and bad. Sometimes new features were pulled forward that helped evolve us faster and find new customers. Sometimes the requests were so taxing that the strain was unbearable on the team to the point of breaking.

Both instances help define the guardrails of the business — it’s one thing to clearly articulate what you do as a company but it’s as important to realize what you shouldn’t do.

I still default to “yes” — even after 35 years of doing this — and most of the time I don’t regret the decision. The willingness to solve for a customer is too big a lure to ignore it and creates a deep and meaningful and (hopefully) lasting partnership.