I came across this online, just going to copy and paste:
WHAT? Turn down business. Are you Crazy?
With the swift changes in business, who has truly stood their ground and stop agreeing to do business with clients that need to hear NO?
Do you find yourself making excuses like:
I have to get them coming in or the flow could stop and I will get caught with my pants down ( as we say in America).
You can’t be picky in this economy you have to pay rent.
All clients can be a pain so take their money anyway.
What if this was an internal battle we are creating for ourselves? What if our seemingly unwillingness to not work with clients who do not excite us was the reason they kept showing up. What if our focus on the one client we didn’t like, kept the clients who would bring us joy and money from showing up?
AGGGHHHH see it is enough to make you pull your hair out and here is what “I know”. Yup here comes a Oprah moment-you ready…
There is only so much space in your month…which will you give a place on your monopoly board? A utility that brings is regular consistent income like clock work and it of little resistance, the park place that whines you have to drop everything and anything when they want, the rising star that has copped an attitude before they even made it big yet or the company that has a few houses, manages their teams and their money with respect, integrity and openness.
What’s the answer? I am learning it is ME! When I make a decision to accept a client, that I get that feeling in my gut, you know the one-where something is bothering you but you are not sure what it is. When you say yes to those as clients , they are the ones who make you want to flip a lid when you deliver your passion and they block your brilliance at every turn.
Here are my 12 most compelling reasons to turn down business…share with me yours!
They want you to be on time but they keep you holding when you arrive to your appointments. Seriously it is about respect. It is one thing to have something happen, an emergency. We all know those moments, but when it occurs over an dover it is a sign if disrespect. who wants to work with someone who does not respect you.
Respect yourself and you will receive it in return.
They ask their questions in a way that your radar starts to warn you what are they hiding here? We have all felt that, there ‘s no logic to it and many times we use our logic to embarrass us into taking them on…then BAM our gut was right.
Learn to trust your gut and it will serve you well.
Do they insist you give them your ideas up front, you know the ones who “want a taste” which is code for a lot of things that do not lead to a good working relationship. If you hear that it means a couple of things-trust was not established-confidence was not established-they did not “see it”. When you are asked for ideas and work up front it is almost NEVER a good sign.
Walk away, hold your head up high and continue to operated in integrity.
You ask all the normal vetting questions and you feel they are still not being up front with you. You look at their site and you see comments disappear instead of dealing with them openly and in public. There is a disconnect there. They might not realize it and maybe they do, but what is happening is they have a different ethical standards than you.
Stay true to who you are inside and out and it will benefit both you and your business.
They exhibit signs of bad leadership. Not everyone has the luxury of multiple meetings over time to uncover behaviors, yet when you do it becomes very clear.
How can you serve both of you by doing your homework and vet better? What is their reputation-use the tools check them out. Ask your contacts you have built up online. When it all boils down to it, how does it sit with you.
Would you operate you business the way they do? If not step away. It will damage your reputation
When a client has a high expectation that does not align with their budget, you will
find yourself with this (can you tell I have experienced these first hand)
- they nitpick over everything
- they will ask for lots of changes then are unwilling to pay for extra work
- they will run you ragged, nothing will please them and you will be so resentful you will want to scream.
When a client wants more than they are willing to pay for it’s a sign the devil has walked into your business, get out the holy water.
You deserve better, have a colleague you can throw things back and forth with, so you have that outside ear to remind you to stay true to your companies mission.
They have no budget. Ok, can we say you jumped from the pan into the fire. This means several things. One they have no idea what they want and two you will be asked to do more than you agree to.
Offer a mini consult to help them gain clarity. It is not your job to give them a plan with a budget, thats word product.
Find out how to turn this around to serve you both.
Are you values aligned? Does this company stand for what yours does? For example if you are consciously healthy company and you are asked by Nestle to work with them , how does that look to your customers?
It look’s like you sold out? Keep your mission statement visible to remind you who you serve and why.
The drama queen client, everyone has had one. Ask yourself how do they treat their employees. If they work them long hours, everyone looks “professional” and no one is having fun, guess what? You are in step-ford business. If they mistreat their employees what makes you think they will treat you better. These are the clients who will yell at you for their not fulfilling their obligations.
You left the corporate world to be rid of abuse like this why would you take them on as a client.
Did they ask for your “best price” up front without you know the scope of work? Red light! They claim they want quality but continue to stir the conversation back to how much will this cost me? Their actions are not lining up with their words. The words are “we want quality”. Their actions are “we want the cheapest we can get out of your for the most we can try to wrangle form you”
What is their first question to you, it will reveal a lot about how the deal will go?
Is your client being rude and difficult? Are they sending you emails with accusatory language? Are they not delivering their agreed pieces need to complete the project? To be successful you need to be a team. Not all clients are willing to play nice. Do you feel you have to tolerate it because you need the work? They are counting on that. You can bet they did it to the vendor before you.
Remember if they do it to you then you might do it to others. Hang out with better clients
What is their online presence like. Now some folks will jump on this and say it is easy to act like one thing in front of a computer and another in person. Well, true but only for a short period of time. Read their tweets and more than one page. Do it over time. Read their facebook. Who are they friends with? Most positive folks will not be friends with negative people. What do people say in their linkedin, is plastic and forced or genuine?
Use todays tools to help you uncover your ideal clients and you will be saying yes to fun and exciting clients that you are a match and both prosper!
While we all want our businesses to be successful and prosper, I am noticing that part of that process is internal. How are you asking yourself the tough questions?
Where am I like this in my business or life?
Have I done this myself this past year?
How can I learn from this situation and improve my own skills?
Which one of these have you had happen more often than others? How did you respond or find ways to not be in that position again? Was it all external learning or did you have to do some internal work too?
Featured image courtesy of maistora licensed via creative commons.