If you’ve ever worked as a salesman you were probably coached to take “No” as an incentive to keep pushing for a “Yes.”
In the world of sales that’s a good philosophy to adopt, but as a business owner you might be faced with many instances where you’ll have to say “No” and some of those “No’s” could be directed at a potential client.
Is there a right time to say “No?” Consider the following potential factors:
That would be your company standards. Every company builds its success upon a strong reputation. In today’s 24/7 news cycle, that reputation is as fragile as ever. One negative review can zip around the globe and become a viral infection that puts a dent in your business reputation. You don’t want a client bringing your company quality standards down by asking for compromises. There could be many reasons why a client might be in a hurry to close a deal or in need of a product shipment. However, if you rush to cater to those clients and your business suffers, who is the real loser? Don’t let the promise of a big payout be the reason why you compromise on your standards of excellence.
“I can do that.” It’s what every client wants to hear and it’s a phrase you should be able to deliver with confidence but suppose it’s not true? If you take on an assignment or promise of a delivery that you can’t meet then your overconfidence could be your undoing. You might have to hire extra workers or pay for overtime which cuts into your profit margins. There might be additional training that is required which can impede the deliver. For instance, if you were asked to deliver a Power Point presentation in four hours and you’ve never created a power point presentation the answer shouldn’t be “I can do that” but “no.”
There is a learning curve associated with entering into a relationship with a new client. You both are going to be finding out about each other’s company practices. Suppose you uncover something that goes against your own ethics? What if the client asks you to falsify invoices to make them look good? Yes, they can promise additional business but you’ll be selling out your own standards and more than likely get in trouble with the government. You might also find that some members of your staff have objections about a client’s business practices. If you trust your staff then you should consider their view points on this matter. This is a perfect time to say “no” to a client.
Saying “no” isn’t the end of your business. In many ways, it can make your business stronger.