I am sure you have heard of the 80/20 rule (or at least some variation). The 80/20 rule basically states that 80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients. I really have no idea how accurate the principle is and I am sure that some may argue against it.
What I do know is that as salespeople, we all have clients we love working with and typically provide a good source of revenue and we all have clients that we don’t enjoy working with that often time produce minimal revenue. Not only do the clients we don’t enjoy working with produce minimal revenue, but they also usually suck the life, energy, and passion out of us.
So why do we keep clients that produce a small amount of revenue and suck the life, energy, and passion out of us? Because we can’t say no.
We can’t say no because some of us feel that we owe it to them. We can’t say no because we are worried they will think bad about us. We can’t say no because financially we think we need to get every single client possible. I know this because I am guilty as charged.
In my last post, “own your niche,” I discussed why it is important to be the expert to build credibility. It’s hard to build a solid reputation and credibility when you are busy dealing with prospects and clients who don’t fit your niche and drain your resources.
We owe our best to those who we can best help. That doesn’t mean everyone. If I try to write life insurance even though I don’t want to do it or not familiar with this product, am I truly helping that person?
Saying no is a win-win for both you and your client. If someone asks for a service you don’t provide well, don’t you think that they will appreciate your candor when you tell them “I really appreciate you thinking of me, but this is not my area of expertise and I don’t think I would provide you with the best product/service? Let me direct you to someone who can best help you.”
In the short run trying to get every prospect who breathes may help a little financially, but long-term it will leave you scattered, frustrated, and wishing you had more time to spend on your more valuable customers.
Saying no can be liberating. There is power to knowing what you are best at and who you can best serve. I challenge you to try it. I predict it will help you productivity, efficiency, and most of all your happiness.
Do you say no? I would love to hear your comments.
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