When you first startup in business it's all about saying "yes".
You've already said a huge "yes" to taking a big risk by actually starting your business and that's a great example but as your business gets underway you may start saying "yes" all too often when really you should be saying "no" or at the very least "maybe"...
I recently saw a film called 27 Dresses starring Katherine Heigl and James Marsden. It's a romantic comedy centred around a woman who is always the bride and never the bridesmaid but when her sister is about to marry the man that she thinks she's in love with, she starts to lose it.
There's a scene in the movie where James Marsden's character helps Katherine Heigl's character to stop saying yes to everybody and to learn how to say no.
You can check it out below because it's a great start to what we're covering in today's blog.
The "yes" Scenario
There are several examples of bad "yes" scenarios but I'm going to use one that will probably resonate with every business owner and startup.
When you first start your business, making sales and building customer relationships is everything. Let's face it, your business needs customers to survive, so it's great when you start receiving enquiries and generating good leads.
This scenario applies to both services and products, so no matter which you deal with, pay attention.
Let's say that a potential customer comes to you and says, "I'm really interested in buying X product/service from you but I need it doing faster/cheaper (take your pick)".
At this point, the potential customer has you strapped to the tracks as a speeding train approaches. You are faced with two options;
So, you make the only logical choice - you say "yes" because you don't want to lose the customer or leave a negative impression so early in the stages of your business and by doing so you're steam-rollered by your customer.
You may not have assessed whether or not you can afford or physically manage the deal that you have just committed to your now happy customer but it doesn't matter...you have to do it anyway.
Now you find yourself trapped in a bad customer relationship.
Your customer will expect the same special treatment from you each and every time for the length of the contract/agreement and what's stopping this customer from telling other people about their special deal giving you no choice but to say yes to everyone else?
Before you know it your business is out of pocket and out of time. You'll fall behind on deadlines, overbook more work than you can manage and you won't be making enough to cover all of your overheads.
Have you ever been in this situation? Come back next week for the second part of this blog to find out how to say "no" to your customers without leaving a negative impact. We'll also be giving you advice on how to rectify an uneven customer/business relationship and we'll help you to manage your customers expectations.