Saying "No" To Prospective Clients And Firing Bad Clients Helps Ensure You Provide Great Value To Those You Choose To Work With

Tuesday, February 07, 2012 10:01
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Saying

Tags: enterprise value | marketing | niche

A key to managing your niche is tracking how often you say "no" to prospective and existing clients.  If you’re not saying "no" to a significant number of prospective clients and firing clients that don't meet your "ideal client" criteria, you don’t have a real niche.  You might have a market segment that you work with, but you don’t have a niche.

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If you have developed a niche, by definition you should fairly often be telling people, “Sorry, but I’m not the right fit for you.” 

Keep in mind, a niche is much more than your minimum investment requirement. A minimum is just one small part in defining your niche and establishing criteria for your ideal client.

There is nothing wrong with saying "No."  In fact, it’s one of the best ways to ensure you provide tremendous value to the people you choose to work with.

Saying no takes courage. You must  believe that there are people you are going to say "yes" to.  You need customers.  But getting the right customers is what makes a business successful.

Unless you've been very deliberate about saying no, it's likely that 80% of your profits come from 20% of your customers.  This indicates that you should be saying no to 80% oif your prospects.

How can you ensure you say no often enough? Before you can say yes or no to a customer, determine  specifically who you want to say "yes" to.  Be very specific in defining the customer that will have the most success with by working with you.

Once you’ve developed the criteria of who is the best type of person to work with you, let others in your organization know your criteria.  Make certain your firm only says yes to those customers.

Saying no creates capacity.  It never fails. Every time I see a company start saying "no" more often, customers show up. Not just any customers, but the right customers.  When you spend a lot of time serving customers that don’t fit with your criteria, you’ve freed up  capacity that can be filled with your ideal customers.

It all comes down to making sure that you’ve developed a clear understanding of who to say yes to.   The next step is having the discipline to say no and say it a fair amount.  In my experience those who have taken the time to say no greatly benefit from the discipline that no requires.

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