A Big Yes-But

Don’t Let the YesButs Stand in Your Way

This post is dedicated to all our APHA members and non-members who have been infested with YesButs.

What’s a YesBut? A YesBut is the answer to all those questions and suggestions intended to help them build their practices that they prefer to not think about. Further, it’s the answer they give that, until these same advocates find a solution, indicates they will not succeed.

I wish I had a dollar for every YesBut someone fires back at me!

  • YesBut they need the help so badly and they don’t have any money!”
  • YesBut I’m afraid to quit my fulltime job until I’m making enough money to support myself!”
  • YesBut if the doctor doesn’t want me in the room, I don’t want to upset him.”
  • YesBut they get so upset in the hospital billing office when I ask questions!”
  • YesBut my client just calls out of the blue and an hour later we get off the phone. She’s so sweet, and I can’t just hang up on her!”

You get the picture.

Now – to be clear – there are some circumstances under which a YesBut is a perfectly appropriate answer.

Specifically, it’s when the additional information is the solution to the problem posed. The follow-on information is a “SoInstead“… or a “NextTime

For example, when clients call you too frequently and want to keep you on the phone for too long:

“Why don’t you just tell Mrs. Jones she is using up her contract time by waxing poetic on the phone every day?”

Followed by this YesBut:

“YesBut Mrs. Jones is just so lonely, so I know she’s turned to me to fill that void.”?

The solution comes with a SoInstead:

“So instead I’ve told Mrs. Jones that I would love to spend extra time with her, but that I’ll have to add more hours to our contract. Then I asked her if she had ever spent time at the Senior Center. She agreed to let me take her there next week to see if she likes it.”

Another example – a client can’t pay for the services the advocate has already provided. “I’m so frustrated. I spent almost 15 hours working on Mr. McKenzie’s hospital and medical bills, but now he says he doesn’t have any money to pay me.”

“Didn’t you require Mr. McKenzie to pay you for your services up front?”

YesBut he said he wouldn’t have the money until I told him what the savings would be from the negotiated hospital bill.”

The solution won’t work for the McKenzie situation, but it should work for subsequent clients…

NextTime I’m going to tell a potential client that I’m sorry, but I just can’t do the work without payment up front. (Once burned, we are all twice shy, aren’t we?)”

Are you infested with YesButs?

If so, then your challenge will be to recognize those cases when you’ve either created your own roadblocks (the ones that, in turn, create YesButs!) – and then learn to always follow them with those SoInstead or NextTime solutions.

Hear what I type! Every business trips over YesButs on occasion. But unless you can develop solutions to your own YesButs, you will not be successful in building your business – your advocacy practice.

Can you think of YesBut moments in your practice building? Will you share them below?


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