The topic today is when to say “no” in business development. Now, for the most part, there are two separate groups of people when it comes to this idea. One group likes to say “yes” to almost anything and everything. For example:
Do you want to go to another networking event? Yes.
Here’s another marketing idea. Do you want to try it? Yes.
There’s an unqualified prospect. Do you want to reach out to him or her? Yes.
So this person says “yes” or “okay” to just about anything. They pursue things that are good, but this can cause them to miss out on the great stuff sometimes. Or they simply run out of time.
The other group includes the ones who say “no” to a lot of stuff. Almost everything, in fact. They refuse to forge new relationships because they’re too comfortable in their current ones. They won’t pursue ideas and tactics in business development that they’ve been burned with in the past. They assume that a prospect is unqualified and therefore give up on him or her before they even dig in all that deep. Perhaps they don’t want to do anything out of sheer laziness.
As you can probably guess, this group oftentimes misses out on opportunities, both good and great.
So what we’re going to look at are six good reasons to say no:
1. Say no if the business development opportunity is way outside of your target market or ideal clientele. You might as well reject things that don’t fit in with where you want to go as a business and who you want to work with.
2. It’s good to say no if you have low-hanging fruit that’s all around you, that’s still unrealized. Why not focus on the easy stuff first and make sure you capitalize on them all before going off to find other opportunities?
3. It’s okay to say no if you can’t accurately measure the return on investment. Or, if it’s a very fuzzy opportunity and there’s no way you’ll be able to track whether or not you can win, don’t bite.
4. If you’re an established business and there’s an opportunity that sounds boring, plain, or just not fun, it’s okay to turn it down! Why bother if you aren’t going to enjoy the new opportunity at all?
Of course, if you’re newer to business, you may not have a choice in the matter. In order to keep the business moving forward, newer owners often have to pick up projects that aren’t fun.
5. If it will damage your personal relationships for whatever reason, even if it’s just because you’ll be spending too much time on the new opportunity, consider saying no.
6. Generally, say no to an opportunity if there are better things to say yes to. Sometimes saying yes to a worse/lesser project means you’re settling for the good when you should be going for the great.
So those are the six things to consider. Go out, pick the winners and say no to everything else. Have a better than amazing day.