It Is Good To Turn Down A Sale

It Is Good To Turn Down a Sale

It’s good to turn down work. I develop and train senior leaders in areas ranging from leadership development, personal growth through to social media strategies. When I deliver sales and marketing training and consultancy, something I love to explore with my clients is helping them turn down work.

I often start with clients by intentionally helping them lose customers- you know the nightmare ones that actually cost my clients money.

Within the financial climate that many businesses and entrepreneurs find themselves in, it is all too easy for people to try to get work without fully considering the long-term impact of it. Getting clients is easy work- the important area is getting the right clients.

A recent analysis on Groupon showed that one specific company lost £10,000 as a result of too many people buying their services at a heavily discounted rate. Do you remember the supermodel Linda Evangelista saying “I won’t get out of bed for less than $10,000.” Although one can say that she had her own clarity on what she felt her time was worth, what a business’s time is ‘worth’ in a different context is something that many businesses ought to be more aware of.

Many businesses fail because they price things wrong. They focus on the sale and not on what they’re let with after all the costs have been detracted.

We’ve probably heard the saying “turnover is vanity and profit is sanity.” Heard it perhaps so much, we ignore it.

How often do businesses still fail as a result of not generating enough profit? It is good to turn down a sale.

For many, business is a place of stress, and more often than not the biggest stresses are people, especially difficult clients. If you’ve run a business, then like me I’m sure you’ve had your share of people you haven’t enjoyed working with. After the job is complete, we sit and reflect how much time, money and energy they cost us.

Whether they are bad payers, unpleasant with their communication, disorganised, incompetent, always changing their mind, haggling over prices or impossible to please, we need to be far more selective about the work that we take on. I like working with people I like, who are brilliant at what they do- it makes all the difference and makes me excited about the work that I do. It means I genuinely want them to do really well, want to go the extra mile for the, and never just go through the motions. It is good to turn down a sale.

It is also good to turn down a sale, in order that you have more time to do jobs well. If it’s true that it costs nine times the amount of money to find new customers than selling to existing customers, work well to please all your current customers. Don’t cut corners by trying to find new clients at the expense of those who have trusted you with their money, time and attention. It is good to turn down a sale, where the opportunity looks promising but is outside of the scope, vision, experience or direction you are moving forward in.

People spot blaggers. It doesn’t take long when they discover that you promised the earth but delivered the ground. Give yourself and your business the space and time to be specialists, expert and dare I say the best in specific niches. You’ll do well then. The times for generalists are coming to an end. People can easily source out new professionals who themselves are experts in niches. They will outperform you in areas you are weak in, and take your business from you.

So learn to say no to work that is not your direct passion or based on your strengths. By saying no it enables you to say yes to what you love, are passionate about and feel energised in. Your business provides expertise in a specific niche, and is known for it. Whether it’s Apple as they focus their niche on digital consumer products and technology or a builder who focuses his niche on plumbing, central heating and bathrooms, establish your niche and be the best in it.

It is good to turn down a sale because there is only so much that a management team has the capacity to be fully on top of.

What is your management band-width? Don’t be bogged down with being average in your work but take a leaf from Jack Welch. When he was the CEO of General Electric, one of the largest companies in the world, unless his companies were performing and achieving number one or number two within their sector, then he would look to pull out of that market in order to perform well within their chosen niches they excelled in. They wouldn’t waste money on being an average performer in a sector. There are too many people happy in being average.

It is good to turn down a sale because people trust those who are up front about what they are not able or willing to do. It was the girls who turned down the boys at school and said no to any old confident lad, that made the boys want them more. Be in demand and say no.

So consider answering some more of your sales questions with a ‘no’ and watch your thinking, focus and expertise increase.

Once you can say ‘No’ well, you’ll find you have no problem saying Yes. And that’s when you’ll see the profits increase too.