Phyllis Zimbler Miller – Making It Easy for People to Say Yes

No, this isn’t a marketing guest post, although I often give the marketing advice of “Make it as easy as possible for your targeted audience to say yes to you.”

Here I’m talking about applying the same advice to our daily activities with others – whether friends, colleagues, family members, or strangers (and whether remote or in person).

Picture this recent experience I had while driving my adult daughter to get her first vaccination shot at a specific appointment time:

We looked on the vaccination’s website and the appointment confirmation to see where at a huge hospital complex we should enter the driving “line.” No info.

When we got near the hospital complex, we saw a sign that said for vaccinations to turn right on a certain street. I knew from studying the online map that this street was in the middle of the complex.

I turned right and came out at a stop sign, which confused me because I saw other cars in line from a different direction. But I had followed the sign so I pulled into line.

A moment later I looked up to see a young man—unmasked — screaming names at me through (thank heavens) my closed window (and I was wearing a mask even though I am fully vaccinated). And when we got up close to the head of the line, he told a vaccination worker that I had “cut,” and the worker made me get out of line and go around again.

I wasn’t upset about getting out of line – just grateful about the shot appointment. But I did try to save other people from my mistake by telling the worker that the sign I followed was incorrect. He could have cared less.

One hour later when I had circled the complex in the slowly moving line, my daughter and I saw the same thing happen to another car who had clearly followed the same sign we had – and then was “told on” by others behind that car.

In retrospect, I understand that the sign was probably originally there when fewer cars were lined up. As news of the vaccination site spread, the route had to be changed. So why not take the simple step of removing or changing the incorrect sign?

And this is what I mean about making it as easy as possible for people to say yes.

MAKE SURE THAT SIGNAGE IS CORRECT! Think of a sign from a stranger’s point of view and not from your point of view, because you know what to do.

While this may seem simple, I notice this one thoughtful action is often NOT carried out. Yet as we are all under a great deal of stress, especially now with Covid, we should try to reduce the stress for others as well as ourselves when we have the opportunity.

Encouraging doing the right thing …

Charles Passy’s March 28, 2021, article in The Wall Street Journal carried the headline “The Best Coupon in Your Wallet? Your Vaccination Card.” The article described businesses such as Krispy Kreme giving a free donut with proof of vaccination. And this encouragement is a two-way street, with these free offers promoting the business while promoting vaccination.

Recently I read a heartbreaking article about a teenage suicide and the importance of letting young people know about getting help. Suddenly it occurred to me that with both my military websites for veterans and active duty personnel – and

– I had the opportunity to put information about the national suicide hotline on the sidebar of both websites. Who knows whether providing this information may prompt someone to get help when he or she needs it most?

We can all of us look around in our online and in-person lives to see where we can make it easy (or easier) for people to say yes to positive actions. Let’s commit to doing this together!

Phyllis Zimbler Miller is a screenwriter, playwright and book author in Los Angeles. Check out the new social impact section on her website at

Comments 9

  1. Some wise writer once said, ‘write for yourself, edit for the reader.’ It’s difficult to do sometimes but so worthwhile.

  2. Good for your daughter for getting an appointment for the vaccine. I’m having the most difficult time garnering an appointment for the vaccine. Nuts! And good for you, Joylene, for keeping your cool and explaining the problem to those in charge, even though he didn’t seem to care.

    Yes, we always need to look at what we wrote from the reader’s perspective. Many times, things seem right to us because we know what we mean. All best to you, my dear!

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  3. you always have to “look” at what you wrote from the prospective of the reader. When I do this, I often find I wrote something quite confusing to others but perfectly clear to me. But I don’t count: the readers count.

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