When to Turn Down Business

By on 02/15/2012

Ever wondered when to turn down business?  Have you ever had a client say “Im not paying for work“?  I have, and that’s a key indicator you should probably turn down business with that client!

Turn Down Business

When to Turn Down Business

The fact is, clients call us (us meaning business owners, sales people, etc…) interviewing us and deciding if they want to use our services all the time.  At the same time, we should be interviewing them and deciding if its going to be a good match for us, or if this is one of those cases we should turn down business.

What happens When We Don’t Turn Down Business

We have had our fair share of difficult clients. As a small business in a bad economy, we sometimes take on the clients because we are concerned when the next one will come along.  But here is what ends up happening if we don’t turn down business.  The difficult client starts to consume us and pull us into their world.  Then the optimal clients comes along and we let them get away because we are so overwhelmed, or they sense we are “to busy” and move on.

We are blessed to have a great group of clients, but we have had to “break up” with a few along the way to gain our sanity back.  We have learned a few lessons from our experiences.

Get Advice

First, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  If you don’t feel comfortable during the initial interview, don’t say yes.  Get advice from someone!  Ask a business partner, a friend, your parents, your kids, someone.  Tell them your concerns and recieve their honest opinion.

Be Professional

If you do decide it’s not a fit, let them know as soon as possible.  Don’t drag it out until your so deep in that its hard to get back out.  Be professional in your wording, KISS if you have ever heard that term.  Don’t get into a long “Its not going to work because I dont feel comfortable, and my mom said, and my pastor said….”.  A simple “Unfortunately, this project is not the best fit for us at this time” goes a long way.

Would You Turn Down Business?

Would you rather have a handful of great clients, or many difficult clients?  Just a question!  I personally love hearing words like “I value” and “I love” and “thank you” rather than “thats to much” and “my other guy only” and “I need this today or”.  Yes, even with great clients,  there will be times when something needs to be rushed and/or budgets don’t work out. But it seems when you have great relationships with great clients, things seem to work out.

This is my year for relationships.  As I blogged about in “Throw Out That Old Marketing Pie“, I am concentrating on building better relationships with our clients that we partner with.  And when I say “partner with”, I mean those clients where there is a mutual respect, trust and appreciation.  These are the clients that make owning a business exciting and rewarding.

Have you even turned down business?  I’d love to hear what steps you took! What was the red flag and what was the deciding factor?


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