As a young entrepreneur, finding clients itself can be a herculean task. Therefore, if one finds the clients many young founders think that they should never say a ‘no’ to them and that’s the only way to retain them.
Yes, it can really very difficult to say, not just in business but also in personal life. Saying no can be really intimidating and the concern of losing the client is always hanging over one’s head.
Every entrepreneur must master the art of saying no. Every single time you will ignore your intuition, and get bullied into taking on a client that you know is going to be problematic, it will always end badly. It is not an overnight process.
There are good ways of saying “No,” and there are bad ways of saying “No.”
Here are some hard-learned tips for politely and professionally saying ‘no’ to potentially difficult clients:
Offer them an alternative
Sometimes you have been working with a client for a significant period of time and you don’t want to break their trust in any endeavor. However, you know that a certain deal or decision will only create problems for you and your client. In such a situation, the best thing to do is strike a common ground. Politely offer an alternative that will be viable for both of you.
You are a young and dynamite entrepreneur and you want to please everyone. You say yes to almost everything including the ‘free’ work and in no time, your plate is so full that you don’t even have the time to do the things for which you are actually being paid. Self- prioritize your work and never let anyone take you for granted, not even your clients.
Always be empathetic
You must always listen to everything your client says. He/she should feel that their opinion really counts and you really value their time and money. Le the client know that you understand him by either summarizing his points or creating a brief report or ppt. And then if you have to say no then do it politely. This way, none of you will be disappointed.
Buy some time
We all crack under pressure. It’s okay! Sometimes you get completely numb and you don’t know what to say. In that case, the best thing is to buy some time. Tell them you will get back to them with your thoughts. Rehearse your no speech. Be confident and politely decline the offer next time.
Refer your clients
A bad client for you may actually be a great client for someone else. Develop a strong networking and reference system. It will not only help you to get more clients but you will always end up making more friends which will only help you in flourishing your own business.
No does not mean bad customer service
Good customer service means solving the problems of your client. If you agree to everything now and not able to deliver it later on that will make you a bad customer service. Saying no to a client never makes you a bad entrepreneur. Good customer service relies on solving problems, even if the solution is not what the client has offered, and sometimes no matter how hard you try you just can’t help a client.
Saying no can be sometimes the ultimate self-care. Steve Jobs rightly said,”It is only by saying “No” that you can concentrate on the things that really matter.”