Thursday, December 20, 2007

Just Say No

In the 80’s, former First Lady Nancy Reagan launched her famous anti-drug campaign “Just Say No”. Today’s blog has nothing to do with drugs, but it does address the value of saying “No” when appropriate.

Many business owners subscribe to the adage, “The customer is always right”. That may sound nice in theory, but sometimes telling a customer “No” is the best thing for all involved. Often, when a business owner is just starting out, the tendency is to say “Yes” to all prospective customers’ requests, just to get business in the door. “Yes, we can design a website, logo, and letterhead in one week for $100.” That may be what the customer wants to hear, but if you are A) Losing money on the project B) Unable to deliver on time or C) Not sleeping or eating for a week, you are doing yourself a disservice.

Some clients can be, shall we say, opportunistic. When they know that you are a new, small business, they may often try to get as much as they can for little or no money. One only has to scan websites such as craigslist (which we love, by the way) to see people posting for services, saying things like, “ I can’t pay much, but this project will look great in your portfolio”. Don’t sell yourself short. When a client asks for extra work at no charge, it’s all right to say no.

That’s not to say that throwing in a freebie here and there has no value. It’s great to do that if it helps foster good will and future business. However, there’s no use in promising clients everything they ask for, unless you are certain you can deliver. That only puts undue stress on yourself, your employees, and ultimately the client.

When it comes to saying yes to all requests, “Just Say No”!


No comments: