Why to Say “No” to a Customer

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image from: http://balancejoyanddelicias.wordpress.com/2010/08/31/saying-no/

It can be tempting to do what your client asks of you even when you know it will be wrong or it will not work.  After all, “she is the customer and the customer is always right.”  Below are a few reasons why you should be willing to tell your client no and even to be willing to walk away from the job.

You Have Professional Integrity

You are partnering with a client because they need your expertise.  They should be hiring you because they are not in the position to do the job themselves.  This should put you in a position of knowing the pros and cons of the job.  Take the time to walk through it with your client (after all you may have missed something) and be willing to explain yourself several times.  If it gets to a point that you are being pushed into something you don’t like, for whatever reason, be willing to walk away.

They Will Respect You

No one respects a pushover.  No one respects pushy people either.  You have to be ready to temper your customer service with professional resolve and vice versa.  A soft approach is the best way to take a hard line.

You Have Their Best Interests In Mind

If you are willing to do whatever they ask, they don’t need you.  You become a second pair of hands and that it not fun.  What you want to be is a trusted partner, and that means you contribute knowledge and expertise.  Letting the client know that you want them to be successful is how you can make sure you never put yourself in a position to be blamed for your project failing.

If you are tactful and professional you can make sure that you only work on the projects that will make a difference for your clients.  This is what will make you stand out and give you a great reputation.  If you are in a position where you have a direct boss within an organization there will be times that you have to do what you may not think is best.  But don’t be afraid to speak your mind and get your ideas on the table.

How can you say “no” to clients and customers?

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