Today I want to talk about the word “YES”. Now the word yes alone is a very positive word but, a lot of times the word yes has an addendum to it such as yes and, or yes but. Today I want to help you know when you should be letting go of your buts when it comes to the word ‘YES’.
What’s My Line?
There were these two different TV programs, one was called “What’s My Line?”, and the other one was called “Whose Line is it Anyway?”
“What’s My Line?” was a game show from the 50s and 60s which featured celebrity panelists who would interview ordinary people and guess what job they held. There was also a mystery celebrity guest. The panelists, while blindfolded, would try to guess who they were.
They would say, “So do you work in a factory?” “Okay, yes, but is that factory big or small?” They would use the but to try to narrow it down and keep ‘butting’ until they could take a guess. It was a very popular show in its day and if you want to learn more, you can always go to Wikipedia. If you’ve never seen it, there are videos on YouTube.
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
The other show I want to talk about is the “Yes And” show, and that’s called “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” It was a comedy improv show that was hosted by Drew Carey. It featured key actors or comedians like Colin Mochrie, Ryan Stiles, and Wayne Brady who were given a situation by the audience and would improve or act it out. This game show really wasn’t a game show. The whole point of the show was the comedy and just to be funny.
If you’re not familiar with improv, it’s is really about “Yes… And?”. If somebody says, “Hey, I’m standing at the bar. Yes. And there’s a hot woman over in the corner. Yes, and she’s wearing a tutu.” Then the other guy says, “Yes, and the guy standing next to her is wearing a three-three.” It goes on and on, it’s always “Yes… And”. Each person is adding more to the situation.
While “Yes… But” is where people are trying to whittle away at the information to narrow it down, “Yes… And” adds to the situation and adds value.
One of the interesting things about “Whose Line Is It Anyway” is although it was not really a game show, Drew Carey and Wayne Brady both become game show hosts. Drew Carey is on The Price is Right, Wayne Brady is on Let’s make a deal.
What’s Your Line? (Of Work)
In networking, “Yes… And” builds relationships. “Yes… But” often diminishes relationships.
In my first book “It’s Not About You, It’s About Bacon! Relationship Marketing In A Social Media World”, I dig deep into the concepts of Know, Like, and Trust. Someone may know you exist, heck, they may even connect with you on social media, but that’s not a relationship. AND… Then they may grow their interest and start to read or even “Like” or comment on your posts, but that’s not a relationship (but it’s more of a starting place).
The “TRUST” part needs to be earned. AND… Trust is where transactions happen. This is where people invest and even risk their money, time, and even their job because you have earned their trust.
Then there are the people that want to bypass all that work and just jump from know to trust. On LinkedIn, I call this the Connect and Pitch.
People will send you a connection request and once you accept, they just try to go right to the trust part and ask you to risk your time, or money, or even your job. Most of the time they never even look at your profile. They immediately message you and say… “Thanks for the connection (BUT) Buy my crap!” You may even reply “No Thanks”, but they keep coming with BUT. “This thing will make you more successful”.
The REAL Personal Connection?
I have a very intentional habit. I always wish every connection on LinkedIn and Facebook a Happy Birthday. On my birthday, I generally get around 1000 personal messages wishing me a Happy Birthday. I spend hours on my birthday sending a personal Thank You to each and every birthday wish. Why? Because it stands out and makes a difference.
We have all wished a happy birthday to someone who at the end of or the following day, will send a blanket message thanking everyone. In my book that puts everyone on a level playing field. I like the personal approach so those who go over and above with GIFs or videos get my gratitude and a shout out. Plus, there is a residual effect of building a real relationship.
Not everyone who I wish Happy Birthday to, or people that I personally thank respond back (but many do). A portion of them carry on the conversation. For example, one person saw my book on a client’s desk and stopped to take a picture of it while another ordered it and said he could not wait to dive in.
The goal of posting birthday wishes and thanking everyone who does the same for me is to show them that I appreciate them personally and am willing to invest my time and attention in them with no quid pro quo.
My goal was not to sell books but I am not disappointed either because they made that decision without a pitch from me. BUT… let me show you the opposite effect!
The UN-REAL Connection
Here are some real messages I received on LinkedIn on my recent birthday.
“Hey Brian! You may already be a LinkedIn expert, but reach out if you’d be interested in hearing more about my birthday special that helps you learn more about LinkedIn and how to use it effectively. Hope you’re having a GREAT birthday!”
Or this one
“Happy Birthday & Happy New Year, Brian! You are such a major blessing to so many and we are both grateful and thankful for your birth, so we Praise Him and celebrate YOU – Today! Take Good Care, Many Blessings & Shalom”. My reply “Thanks, —! ” His reply “That’s so awesome. We recently hosted our Kingdom Tech Table and also just launched our free prayer app”. I hate to look a free gift horse (free prayer app) in the mouth, but it would have had a better response not tied to birthday wish!
Another person started before my Birthday…
“Loved your post about going back direct to your network and getting off of social media. We’re doing that with Active Campaign combined with our product —.com that allows video emails and video conversations. Would be glad to get you a free copy if you’d be interested.”
Now I generally don’t engage with clear pitches, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt and said, “Thanks BUT I have tried Vidyard with lukewarm results!”
We went back and forth with a few more messages, BUT he really lost me when he started commenting with more pitches when he saw people engaging on my LinkedIn posts, “Agree 100% – It’s time to dive into real relationships and “own our networks” again rather than the spray and pray approach done on social media.”, then posted on someone else’s comment, “The only way he will be able to prove he has bacon is with a video haha ”
If you’re using the “Yes.. And” then you’re probably adding value to your relationships. If you’re using the yes but you’re basically trying to figure out how to convince a person by overcoming their objections.
The more you pay it forward, the better chance you have that someone will pay you back with their time, attention, and maybe a referral or their own money. Don’t be the person that globally says, “Hey, thanks for the birthday wishes.” Spend some time with your audience, getting to know, like them so they can trust you when the time comes to make a connection that can benefit them and benefit you. Don’t let your buts get in the way and start building better relationships today.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas, or questions about using Yes and instead of Yes but. Have you had to overcome any of the presented concepts? What worked and what did not live up to expectations? Do you have any ideas or advice you could share?