The Sales Prevention Team: How to Change Cant’s into Cans.

glass full

Many Many years ago I stopped playing on the sales prevention team. 

That’s what we used to call one of the departments in a company I used to work for in my early sales career.  It was a group of individuals in the company who were always a “NO”- before they were a yes ( if they were ever a yes)

They could always see problems before a solution.  This isn’t to say that there aren’t those circumstances that call for this type of raw talent… but this was more like an artform;  sniffing for issues, the way a pig does truffles, without even considering the possibilities of what the result might yield.  Short term pain, longterm gain… you know… like progress.


I have a hard time with those words: “I Can’t.”

“Can’t never did”,  my dad used to say.

“I can’t paint, I can’t hike, I can’t make time, I can’t do Math, I can’t write, I can’t ski, I can’t be happy, I can’t say can, I can’t see the glass half full…”


“We can’t improve our customer service, we can’t adapt our product to meet the markets needs, we can’t pull out now, we can’t let them see us sweat, we can’t improve moral, we can’t do that…..”

Now, these people – we can call them “halfers…. “, usually also have additional character traits I think are worth mentioning.

Score keeper (hey, you got a bigger piece than I did! Not Fair!) 
I told you So-ers ( I love when they shake their heads at you.. “yep, I tried to tell you but you wouldn’t listen…) 
Glass half empty ( whoa is me….)
You owe me ( hey… you still owe me $3.06 from when I picked up your coffee at Starbucks….) 

What business is to negotiation, transaction,  and investment; relationship is to cooperation, generosity, and support.

It’s very difficult to be in a relationship with someone who is always an immediate no, before they are a yes, or even a maybe.  It’s no fun working with someone who is always unwilling to compromise or who makes every interaction a challenge.


These are just some of the words that come to mind when I am dealing with people who would rather look at problems before solutions, and who seem to have a very narrow and limited viewpoint.



Why do you have to work a job that’s difficult to make progress in, or that’s filled with negative people?


Why do you have to take on a difficult client and do business with someone who is going to bust balls, hem and haw, and think small?


Why do you have to stay in a marriage where everything is an argument, and you are miserable, and sad, and tired of trying?


There are plenty of places to GO HAVE NO FUN SOMEWHERE ELSE.

There is nothing that says we have to interact with negative, uncompromising people.  It’s great for socialization up to a point but, once you reach the age where you know the difference, it’s kind of like asking for cancer.

Who would do that?

You get to un-decide to have them in your life, in your house, in your work, and in your environment  You don’t HAVE to include them in your life, and you don’t have to interact with them.  All you need to do is recognize the difference between:

“NO NOT THAT” and ” YES MORE OF THAT” and let this be your compass that directs you onward.

What do you want out of life?

Do you want to keep looking at a life half empty?

Do you want to keep wishing it were different?

Do you wish you could find some fun, expansive, and interesting people to hang with?


CHOICE. It’s one of the most powerful and least utilized tools we own.



Now, go build something beautiful.