Saying No and Gaining Loyal Customers In the Process
The first time I said no to a potential customer my heart rate rose, my hands began to sweat and I literally felt sick to my stomach. I wasn’t being mean, but I knew that if I said yes I’d be miserable through the process and I didn’t want to do that to them or to myself. So I said no. Everything turned out just find and saying no has gotten easier. But, it has been a journey.
Have you been there? At that crossroads where you can say yes and know you’ll be miserable, but saying yes is so much easier? I know you have because you don’t want to turn anyone away. Well, it doesn’t have to be that way. There are a few reasons you’re feeling badly and they’re all based on myths, so you can avoid them all-together if you know what they are.
Myth#1 – This person will be disappointed
Not true. Actually the truth is, if you’re sincere and honest with your customer about why you’re unable to take their order they’ll be supportive. If you go the extra mile to even refer them to someone who can take their order, they’ll not only be supportive but grateful. They will have gained a higher level of trust for you because they know you won’t steer them wrong and that if you are unable to make what they need, you’ll help them find someone trustworthy who is.
Myth #2 – I need the money
No, you don’t need the money. The money will come from a place of stress, duress, anger and frustration and that isn’t good for anyone. Imagine if you took on a project you didn’t want, just for the money. There would likely be snags along the way to increase your frustration. Then the energy you’d put toward the project would be negative. I don’t know about you, but when I crochet a piece I’m usually working from a place of peace and love. But when I don’t want to make something, but I feel like I “have to make it” the only thing I’m thinking about is how happy I’ll be when it’s done. No peace and love in that. Invariably, I never feel good about giving that piece to anyone. You don’t need money that comes from a negative place. Energy put forth in a project comes back, so always make sure you’re working on something you want to be working on.
Myth #3 – I’ll lose this customer
Again, nope! If you do your best for a customer, even by sending them to someone else, you’ll solidify your relationship with them. They may buy from that other person again, but they will always hold you in high regard and refer new business to you when appropriate. Never think that doing the best for your customer is bad for your business. It’s exactly why you should be in business.
Myth #4 – I should make anything that comes my way
No way! No Way! You should make items that are geared to pushing the culture and goals of your business and that speak directly to your target audience. Everything and everyone are not your target. Knowing who you’re creating for will give you the clarity to say no to certain items that don’t truly fit into your target plan. If you take on a project because you feel you should do everything that comes your way, that’s less time and energy you have to devote to truly building, targeting and working with the items and the people you do want to work with. There is enough work to be done for you to honor yourself, your business, your customer and your time. Send them to someone who’s target pieces and audience match the request.
Myth #5 – I have time to fit one more item into my schedule
If you have to “fit something into your schedule” because you’re not sure if you should refer it to someone else, or you’re afraid more work won’t come, or you need the money. . . refer to the top 3 myths above. You don’t have time to fit things into your schedule out of fear. If a project isn’t right for you, refer it out. Again, your customer will be ever so grateful and you’ll get to spend the “fitting” time doing something you really want to do.
I guess what I’m trying to tell you is this: Saying no is not the problem, it’s the fear, anxiety and stress we feel that pushes us to say no that we need to let go of. If you release the fear that you’ll lose a customer, saying no and sending them to someone who will happily take their order is best. If you release the anxiety of thinking that you don’t have enough, or there isn’t enough, then saying no becomes easy because you’ll know there’s more where that came from and more.
When we’re sincere, open and honest with our customers we foster a sense of like and trust. Those two things are the basis for long-term relationships with customers. What you think will send them away, will actually bring them closer to you and more inclined to do business with you again.
So, the next time a project comes along that doesn’t fit into your business plan and won’t make you happy, kindly explain why you aren’t able to do the job, but give the contact information, or better yet, introduce them to someone you know and trust will do a great job. Karma, likes it when we’re honest, sincere and kind to one another.
Which of the “myths” listed above do you tend to battle with the most? I know I used to always worry that “I needed the money”. I’d like to hear your story in the comments.