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Saying NO to people that aren’t a good fit for your business is best for everyone—including the people you turn away.
If you are an Entrepreneur, your cash flow might not be where you would like it to be. So you might start seeing dollar signs instead of making decisions to work with someone based on a thoughtful process. This is ACTING and not REACTING.
Here’s 5 reasons why you should sometimes say NO:
1. A product or service that is “good for everyone” isn’t specific enough to be of use to anyone.
Therefore, it won’t be a good fit for MOST PEOPLE, which means turning potential clients away. Focus on getting it to the people that need it most, which makes for very satisfied customers and will make you a happier Entrepreneur.
TIP: Use a website and social media to communicate effectively to your ideal client to cut down on the 1-on-1 time you spend trying to sell your products & services.
2. Saying YES to everyone gives off the vibe of desperation.
This feeling will be picked up by others, making it more difficult to attract quality clients. Feel confident that there is enough abundance in the market to bring the right people to you and that your product or services delivers real value.
TIP: If your business is struggling, you may need to rethink your business model. A viable business plan and market research to back it up will give you confidence.
3. The clients you hesitate about are more likely to be problem clients.
This will cost you MORE time to make sure they are satisfied, especially if you have pride in your work. Think back to any difficult client you have had…they gave off subtle signals that were yellow flags early in the process. Had you listened to your intuition early on, both parties could have walked away with no hard feelings.
TIP: Look to these difficult clients for clues of what to avoid in the future. The past is doomed to be repeated if you don’t learn from your mistakes. Next time it’s your own fault things went sour.
4. Potential clients are PEOPLE, not dollar signs.
After all, if you are ONLY looking at them as a dollar sign, won’t they be looking at you the same way? Money is an important part of the process because we all associate VALUE with DOLLARS. People won’t VALUE something that is FREE. Entrepreneurs need to be confident in their pricing and feel confident that they are delivering something of far greater value than that dollars they are charging. Focus on delivering real value in exchange for money and the right clients WILL find you.
TIP: I strongly advocate having offering lower-priced packages that can scale up. This will give your business more options to serve a wider range of people. If you do, and someone still haggles over your price, walk away.
5. Time invested with someone who isn’t a good fit for your business is time that isn’t available for someone who is.
Just like dating, business relationships need to be a good match for both parties. It may “hurt someone’s feelings” to be “rejected”—not true, but isn’t that what you are THINKING?! You are really freeing them to find a business that IS a good fit, which helps everyone.
TIP: Gain clarity on who you are meant to be serving. There are people who want what you are offering. Every time you say YES so someone else it means you can’t work with the people who really need you.
I recently had the opportunity to practice my own advice, and it was truly liberating.
A potential client called me to ask the price for working 1-on-1 with me on social media design, setup & strategy.
I needed to return their call, which gave me a few minutes to explore their business. My gut told me that it was not something that I felt comfortable in promoting, yet I still hesitated. My inner voice of negativity and lack of confidence said “maybe you can do it and not tell anyone” or “well, if they are willing to pay…”
Then I took a deep breath and practiced what I would say to gently tell them I didn’t think it was a good match. I returned the call and spoke my truth. They didn’t care, they just wanted to know my price. So then I told them. They were shocked because it was clear they were looking for the cheapest possible solution, not quality. I confidently said, “I have 18 years of design experience, and the process involves training, coaching, strategic planning and web design. I have scalable solutions that can work with a range of budgets. It’s too bad this isn’t a good fit, but I appreciate you calling me.”
I didn’t take up any more time for either of us, and I know we can both move on to find an ideal partnership.
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS: Have you said YES when you should have said NO? What did you learn from the experience?
Hello Service-Based Entrepreneur,
I know it’s easy to get overwhelmed by reading blog posts full of ideas, tactics & tools. Be honest...
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- How much time will you waste if it's not your next best step?
- Did you just take the time to read this but you won't make any changes?
- Or are you ready to take a small next step to build your brand?
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To your success,
Marketing Strategist & Designer
I offer a blend of 30+ years of expertise in marketing, websites, brand identity, strategy, tech solutions, and more. I work with service-based entrepreneurs to start & grow their brands. I use a practical and flexible approach to adjust to changes in your business & life. Toolkits & done-with-you planning create your strategy. Then add on other services for a custom solution.