Don’t Let “No” Stop You in Your Tracks

Here’s a quick “negotiation nugget” to keep in mind when planning your asking strategy.

Have you ever asked for something at work and received an outright “No” to your request?

And then you didn’t know how to proceed?

Next Time…

Don’t let a “No” stop you in your tracks. Pitching an idea or request is a form of negotiation and successful negotiation requires thorough preparation. So be ready ahead of time with acceptable alternatives or compromise positions.

Use transitional phrases to keep the discussion going after you get a “No.” For example:

  • I see. If that doesn’t seem a possibility, I’d like to suggest another way…
  • Perhaps we could explore another way to…
  • Would you be open to other possibilities for…

At my Pay Raise Prep School online training, students get scripted examples of this approach. So in response to “I can’t give you a raise; you’re already at the top of the pay scale.” and other objections (a form of “no”) that you might hear from your manager, you can keep the conversation going with alternatives.

Likewise, in the “Negotiate to Negotiate” section of the Flexible Work Proposal Packages, you can see how being ready with modified options keeps the discussion alive.


A “No” doesn’t have to be final if you have acceptable alternatives to an agreement planned ahead of time and are prepared to introduce them. Think through and write down your alternatives so that reaching an agreement remains viable.

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