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WHEN DOES NO MEAN NO? NEVER!

Would you like to get done what others believe is impossible? Burn this next sentence into your brain and watch mountains move.

Every organization has its can do person!

The following recent example may seem relatively minor in the grand scheme of things but it’s the process that’s important.

One of my Los Angeles based companies was under pressure to meet a video editing deadline. An associate in Canada agreed to jump in and help. His laptop would not be adequate. We needed to get him a high speed processor computer immediately. It needed to be purchased using one of my corporate credit cards. Buying it in Los Angeles and shipping it to Toronto would take too long. Buying it online would also take too long for delivery.  As I go through the process of solving this challenge, ask yourself this question: “At what point would you have taken ‘no’ as the answer?”

Both my associate and I are both members of Costco. He went into a Toronto Costco and found they had a computer in stock that could do the job.

Attempt 1 – My associate asked at the store service counter if there was a way it could be charged to my Costco American Express credit card. Along with an explanation he was told NO. They could only transact sales with customers who were present at the store.

Attempt 2 – I went to my local Costco in Westlake Village California. I asked at the service desk if there was a way that I could purchase the computer locally but have my associate pick it up from their Toronto store. Along with a perfectly plausible explanation, they said NO.

Attempt 3 – I asked to speak with the manager. Along with the same perfectly plausible explanation, he said NO.

Attempt 4 – I asked for the phone # of the Costco corporate office. When I called I was transferred to a customer service person. Along with an explanation, she said NO. She not only said no, she said they have had this request before and it simply can’t be done given their policies.

Attempt 5 – I asked to speak with her supervisor. Along with the same explanation, she said NO.

Attempt 6 – I asked to speak with her manager. Along with the same explanation, she said NO.

Attempt 7 – I phoned American Express, specifically the division that issued my Costco American Express Card. I explained the situation and asked the customer service rep if they could help. Along with an explanation, he said NO.

Attempt 8 – I asked to speak with a supervisor. Along with an explanation, she said NO.

Attempt 9 – A little voice kept saying to me; “There has to be a way to do this. I’m just not talking to the right person.” So I called back on the same Costco American Express phone number and was connected this time to a different customer service person. Along with an explanation, he said NO.

Attempt 10 – My little voice wouldn’t go away. So I called the Costco American Express phone number again. This time I got Davin. There was something in the quality of Davin’s voice that led me to feel that

this time things could end differently. He said there ought to be a way to do this. He actually looked up the Costco locations in the Toronto area and found the phone number of the Costco store nearest my associate. He then asked my permission to leave the line for a few minutes while he called the location. A few minutes later, he came back on the line and added me into his call with Mary, a store manager. Within a few minutes the details had been worked out for my associate to pick up the computer that was now charged to my Costco American Express card. Problem solved courtesy of Davin and Mary.

What’s the point here? If I had stopped anywhere before the tenth attempt, I would have been defeated. “No” would have prevailed and I would have joined the chorus singing the “It can’t be done” song.  Fortunately for me, I have been down this road hundreds of times during my 50 years of business experience. It’s almost always true. Every organization has its can do person! So, I just keep going until I find them.

Be persistent. Try this process. Move mountains.

Oh...one last question; are you your organization's can do person?

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Gordon Bizar

Gordon Bizar - Expert Business Buyer and Finance Coach Gordon simplifies business purchasing and financing. He makes understandable the use of financial leverage to start, buy or build any business with little or none of your own cash. His unique expertise and success track record has led to his appearances on NBC's Today Show, PBS's Late Night America along with segments on more than 120 other radio and TV news and talk shows. He has been featured in articles in more than 25 of the nation’s leading newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal. Gordon personally bought and built companies in fields as diverse as manufacturing, financial services and business education. He also served as Chairman of the California Task Force on Taxation and Regulation of Small Business during the Brown administration and is sought after as a consultant by businesses large and small and government agencies such as NASA for their technology transfer program.

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