Everything to Everyone

10 09 2010
PALO ALTO, CA - APRIL 21: San Francisco Mayor...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

No- you can't be everything to everyone. Knowing when to say no is a good concept.

However, there is also a time to know when saying something is better than nothing and no isn't acceptable.

I've worked in many places where I did a very specific function in the organization. I would not have been the right person to answer many questions coming in.

However, it always made sense for me to know what others did so when the inevitable call would come to me about something I had little clue on, I could still address it with more than a "I'll transfer you to the right person." 

Three reasons this is not the ONLY thing you should say in these situations:
1. even if it is not your function, they are still YOUR customer by virtue of the fact that you work there. Treat them as such.
2. NO ONE, even you, likes to be passed on to the next person ALONE. It isn't helpful, shows distain for the customer, and will leave a bad taste in your mouth.
3. No isn't acceptable. Period. If you were to call the same folks, would YOU accept no? Collecting a bill, trying to get an answer. NO, you would not accept no. OOPS.

This goes the same for ALL venues you communicate through: phone, email, Twitter, Facebook, smoke signals, whatever! Do not just say no, because it is highly likely you will hear THEIR no relatively soon otherwise!

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