The customer isn’t always right. And Mickey Lackey, broker/owner at Key City Realty in Abilene and instructor at KeySkills Real Estate Training, believes that being able to say no when appropriate is an important skill that not everyone has. Her class Dare to Disagree shows you the positive effects of saying no and how and when to do it without alienating people.

Here are her reasons that you should learn to say no when appropriate. 

You eliminate ambiguity

Society discourages the word no. Avoiding it is a way to avoid conflict, but it’s also a way to imply things you don’t mean. For example, don’t say, “Let me check my calendar and call you back,” when you mean “I don’t have time to meet you.”

You show you’re not a yes-man

Unless people know they can count on you to say no when needed, how can they believe your yes? Your clients count on you for sound professional advice, not agreement.

You better prioritize your time

Saying yes to someone requesting your time steals that time from another task or interaction that could be producing income or enriching your life. Commit only to those things that are important to you, and say no to the rest.

You make clear your disagreement

In real estate, we are required to disagree when a client is omitting certain facts. If you do not say “no” to voice your disagreement, it can be perceived as agreement.

You stop further negotiation

When parties negotiate, one side pushes until the other side says no. If you’re not prepared to assert your no—in client transactions or your own business negotiations—you’ll be bullied into unfavorable terms.