No, sorry that is impossible!


Have you ever gotten the no can do answer? I personally hate that phrase. There is no such thing as no can do, or impossible. I know it sounds like a cliché, but there is absolutely no reason what so ever why anyone should use this answer.

If you are in a position of asking a question, do not accept an answer if it is just no, no it is impossible or no I cannot do it. That is not an answer, it is a denial, or an escape from work demanded to give a positive answer.

The development of technology!
Over the past decades technology has had an enormous progress, making almost anything you’d like on a computer possible. I have been creating websites both as an amateur and on a professional level for ten years now. I have learned that there is no such thing as impossible, anything can be created, and it all comes down to time, money and knowledge. If you want something that seems impossible to be created, well it probably just need someone with the knowledge, time and money to create the technology necessary to make progress.

What does it take?
If someone replies with a no I always follow up by what does it take? It just can’t be done is not the next argument I need to hear. That is an excuse because you do not know what is possible at what cost. If you know what you are talking about you will have good arguments to why it is beyond the limitations of our time, budget or knowledge.

To spin this around a bit.
You should never answer a question with, no that cannot be done, or this is totally impossible. I used to sit with clients that wanted a web shop. They had a budget, and they had some visions about what they wanted. Suddenly the client would say, I noticed this great gadget on and I would like that too. I could answer no that is not possible, but that would be wrong, since someone else have already done it. I could say no, we cannot do that, making our company seem incapable. Or I could say, sure we can do that, this is an advanced technology that we might need to re-invent and we would need a lot of time and it would cost you a double project budget. Then the ball would be in the other park, leaving them up to say go or no go. If you get a green light on this, you might sign a good deal as well.

If you think it is impossible.
If you don’t want to disappoint the one asking, you should consider this; why would you answer; it is impossible? Is it because you are not willing to do the necessary work? Is it because you do not know the limits of technology? Is it because you know it would cost too much? If so you should rephrase your answer. If you are stuck, you could say; I need to check this and come back to you.

Never say no.
If you are talking to customers do not use the word no. No is a direct negative. Rather explain why it is a “no” – “There is limitations in the software, but if you would like, we could develop a fix for it and it will take xx hours costing another $xxxx. “At our call centre there is a lot of no going around. There might be a gap between what our agents can do and what the customers expect. Some customers expect that we have a magic red button we can push to fix their Internet connection on the fly. If we need to replace a part in some central or if we need to replace a cable, this is stuff that might take some days to reasons beyond our control. When a customer want something fixed right now, or else he will go to the media, cancel the contract or whatever, the agent might get in a locked position; “No it is not possible” would be an answer resulting in an angry customer. “We are dependent on a third party company that also has handling time, and there are necessary to ship a part from A to B. I have no influence over the time it takes, but I will make sure that I process the order as fast as I can to prevent any delays from our part.”
A good example can be observed at restaurants. If you order something to drink and they are sold out or maybe they stock another brand, you can easily separate the trained and not trained personnel. The inexperienced might say; sorry, we are sold out or No we do not have that. If you want Pepsi, but this place serves Coca Cola, the experienced would say; we have Coca Cola, is that ok?

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