Saying “no” is hard for many women. And not being nice is even harder. But when you are an entrepreneur you can’t always be the nice girl.
“[S]ometimes, when you’re an entrepreneur, being nice to others means shortchanging yourself and your business,” writes Inc. Learn to say “no.” Although a client or customer is “always right,” there are times when you can’t cater to their every whim, especially if it does not make sense for them or you.
Set boundaries even with your customers. According to Peter Bregman (via Inc.), writing on the HBR Blog Network, there are effective ways to say no:
- Push back: If you have a customer or client who is pushy, “give yourself permission to be just as pushy as they are. They’ll respect you for it.” It might be best to make light of the situation instead of just butting heads. Bregman suggests you say something like: “I know you don’t give up easily — but neither do I. I’m getting better at saying no.”
- Have boundaries: There are just some things you are always going to say no to regardless of how many times you are asked. Make this known and standard policy; one that is not flexible.
- Don’t worry about loss: As they say, one door closes and another opens. Don’t say yes to every opportunity just because you are afraid of losing business. Your peace of mind and work standard is worth more than money.
We’d also like to suggest that when you say no to a customer, give them an alternative. Even if it means sending them to another company that can handle the service they need. Your client will appreciate your honesty and the fact that you are trying to solve their problem. They will come to trust your opinion and your company’s ethic.
Do you have a hard time saying “no”?