“Just say no” can be a costly way to think

Most of the time it’s wise to think a little before you just say no. Here’s a personal example of where a little more thought and a lot less negative reaction could have turned into money…

For the last few years I’ve built a number of websites on a variety of topics with a view to testing various online marketing techniques and subject niches.

One such site was a forum for those involved in spread betting (a form of trading on the movement of stock and currency markets).

The site was doing OK with regular visitors and regular contributors.

Then one day, out of the blue, I received a phone call from a man who said he worked for a company called ‘Paddy Power’ and that they’d like to discuss the possibility of advertising on the website.

My first reaction was to ask myself “Why would an Irish energy company want to advertise on a spread betting website?”

My second reaction was to think that this was some kind of wind-up.

My third reaction was to politely tell the chap that I wasn’t interested since I wasn’t sure it’d be a good demographic match. He, in turn, politely thanked me for my time and hung up.

When I told my other half later in the day she was seriously less than impressed, saying something along the lines of “You turned down Paddy power? What the hell were you thinking? Sometimes you really are an idiot.” (I’ve paraphrased a bit because some of the language she actually used doesn’t belong on my blog…)

You see, I didn’t know what or who Paddy Power was. I seriously thought that they were something like the Irish equivalent of British Gas, an energy company. I had no idea that they were the fastest growing online bookies in the UK, with a marketing budget in the tens of millions.

It’s highly likely that I could have charged Paddy Power hundreds of pounds a month to sponsor my website but I blew it because I didn’t stop and think before making a decision.

What I should have done was got the number of the guy and told him that I’d phone him back. It would have given me the time to do some research and then, maybe, make an informed decision.

However, I can assure you that I’ll not make this mistake again.

So, the moral of the story is this: ‘Just Say No’ can be a costly approach to making decisions.

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