I often write about the power of the word no. There can be a problem with that word which causes unintended consequences. When you say no to people it can cause you some real problems. Sometimes people get angry when you say no. Sometimes they get more than angry they go ballistic.
A strategy I use.
I never like to actually say no to people. I like to make sure they have a better option than working with me. If someone doesn’t fit in with what I do well I don’t want to serve them. I do want to find a great place for them to get the service they want.
Luckily we have several people in our firm who do a variety of things really well. If someone wants to me to provide something that I know there are better options for, it’s easy for me. I can just introduce them to other people in our firm. This allows me to say no while not really saying no. It works better for both parties.
Why saying no should get you a thank you.
If I can provide you with a better option than working with me, you’re likely to thank me. If I’m the best option and I can explain clearly why this is true, you’re also going to thank me. Either way we both win. When someone says thank-you it’s way better than having them go ballistic because I’ve said no.
Why clarity about what you do is important.
This is where understanding your strengths and weaknesses is really important. What you do well, you probably do really well. Why would you want to provide a service for someone that isn’t world class?
There is only one thing I want when I provide you a service. I want you to think I just gave you tons of value, even if you write me a big check. For me, it’s all about knowing what I do well and staying in that world. I know from personal experience that when I move away from my core competencies I’m going to pay a price that just isn’t pleasant for me and likely won’t be for you either.
Please don’t be all things to all people.
This is where being a nicheaholic comes in handy. If you are clear about what your niche is, who the people are you do the best with, and what services you should offer you’re likely to be successful. If you try to be all things to all people it’s really hard.
One of my big issues is with professionals who keep thinking they can do anything the client wants. There’s nothing wrong with coordinating other advisors. There is something very wrong when your advisor tries to provide you with service they’re not very good at. Be careful when every time something comes up your advisor says they can do it.
There’s nothing worse than doing a bad job.
I don’t know about you but I hate it when I pay good money for a service that’s done poorly. I don’t care whether it’s a meal in a restaurant or a financial planning engagement. When you do a bad job you pay a personal price. Maybe the client isn’t going to bad mouth you to a zillion people. The problem is that you know you didn’t do well by them. They also know it and if you’re lucky they might not doing anything about it.
Do yourself a favor and learn how to say no without using the word no. Both you and the wider world will be better off for it.
I’ve put together an e-book on our Objective Review process. This e-book will explain how our Objective Review works and what you can expect as we learn whether we can work with each other. At the end you’ll even see a mind map that explains the whole process on one page.