Skip to main content

Just say no is a familiar anti-drug campaign from my high-school days.

Some argue the effectiveness of the campaign but the tag line can be applied to many facets of our lives.

I’ve learned to use it in business and found it to be quite effective. Kim Coles said at the recent Women Empowerment Conference here in Houston that:


[tweet_box]”Your no’s are just important as your yeses.”[/tweet_box]

Here’s why.

Spaghetti and Meatballs at McDonald’s?
[tweet_box]Saying no saves you from jeopardizing your brand.[/tweet_box] I’ll go out on a limb here and say you won’t see spaghetti and meatballs on the menu at McDonald’s. For a store manager to think that just because he has a few of the ingredients needed for making spaghetti (ground beef and tomatoes) he can serve up this Italian dish seriously compromises the brand. Leave Italian fare to the good folks over at The Olive Garden and Carrabba’s.

This requires that know your strengths…remember your SWOT analysis from your business and marketing plans? Just because you have the components to make spaghetti doesn’t mean you should make spaghetti. At least not without lots of testing and research. It’s better to refer a customer elsewhere who asks you for spaghetti when you serve up the best burger and fries on the planet.

Know your capabilities and clearly identify those services you are able to provide in all excellence. If you venture out into uncharted territory without counting the cost could do irrevocable harm to your brand.

Confidently say no and refer.

It’s not you, it’s me. 
Sometimes business relationships don’t meet the expectation of the one providing the service. A coach I know just recently fired a client. That’s right, she shut off income and had valid reasons to do so. This action supports the saying that all money isn’t good money. Some clients simply aren’t worth your time and we all know time is money.

You can’t be afraid to say this isn’t working for me and tell some clients no…we simply can’t work together anymore.

Offering a mediocre service or product because it wasn’t your strength runs the risk of jeopardizing your brand. It’s better to refer that client to that incredible network of colleagues you have. And then don’t be afraid to tell a client no we can’t work together anymore. The amount of time and energy spent working with some clients can be compensated monetarily. Let them go.

Know what you do well and do that and release those that cost you.

Because your no’s are just as important as your yeses.

Leave a Reply