|Sometimes you have to say “no but…” or “yes if…” to your clients|
Most people that deal directly with customers and clients have been in a situation where the demands are just flat out unreasonable. While common with businesses of all sizes, the little guys are especially susceptible to this. In some cases, the ability to remain a going concern may rely on the business of one key client. As that client goes, so goes your small business.
As a customer, I’m sure you want to get the most value for every dollar you spend, and you shouldn’t be surprised to see your clients behave in the same way. That does not mean, however, that you have to acquiesce to every unreasonable demand. Neither does it mean that you can just flat out say no when you don’t feel like you’ve been given as much lead time as you need to complete a certain task.
The key to diffusing these potentially explosive situations is to provide an alternative…”no but I can get you these highest priority things within this short turnaround time” or “yes if we bring on additional people” or “yes if you’re okay with extending the deadline on this other request.” Instead of taking their business elsewhere, your clients will respect you for understanding the big picture and presenting solutions instead of just saying a request can’t be done.