Why you should not be scared of saying ‘No’ in business.

Why there is absolutely nothing wrong with saying “no” to a potential supplier.

Business gurus often tell us that one of the keys to success is the word “no”. Or more specifically, learning to say the word “no”.

As they quite rightly point out, saying “yes” to every opportunity or request is bad for your business – and your health. If you take on too many tasks, you won’t have enough resources or time to focus on your core business, your customers or yourself.

It makes sense to say “no” to those opportunities which cause you to lose focus. But saying no means actually saying no.

What are you talking about?

There comes a point where every business needs to obtain help from a third party. This could be to hire an accountant, or to partner with an IT support provider – anything that will help the organisation run more smoothly.

Once the need for help has been identified, it’s then a case of hunting down potential providers and asking for quotes. Depending on the service required this could be a quick email conversation, or a more in-depth review of your current processes and how the provider can assist, followed by a presentation for key decision makers.

Either way, the entire analysis-quote procedure results in a decision – do you accept the proposal or not?

If the quote meets the needs and budget of your business, saying “yes” is nice and easy. But what if the proposal does not give you what you want?

Grow some balls

In the song of the same title, Elton John once claimed that “sorry seems to be the hardest word”. But when it comes to turning down a proposal, many business decision makers seem to have even more difficulty uttering a simple “no”.

Putting aside the issue of manners for a second, leaving a supplier or potential partner hanging is a terrible idea. Sure, you avoid an uncomfortable conversation – but now you have to dodge a barrage of follow-up calls and emails asking whether a decision has been made.

In the end, you expend a disproportionate amount of time and effort just to avoid saying a two-letter word. A five to ten-minute conversation rejecting the proposal could save lots of hassle in the long run.

Get ready for the barrage

At my business Kimbley IT we absolutely do not believe in hard sell tactics. We will never pressure you into making a purchase that does not suit your needs or preferences.

But we will keep following up quotes and proposals – including those sent to clients who go quiet. We’ll keep calling until we get a straight yes/no answer.

Kimbley IT warmly welcome a strong “no” to any inappropriate proposal; and we promise to never contact you again as it is clear that we are not an ideal match for your business.

You just have to say the magic word.