And it’s an extra delight if you’re approached by a potential client, as this indicates that they feel a connection to your service or product. And you know you can deliver in ways that will delight…so happy days!
But what happens if you run into a clash of values?
When would it make you say, “no”?
We all like to believe that we could – we should – get on with our clients, whoever they are. Because it’s the work that matters, not the personalities, right. And turning work away hardly seems like good business practice.
But when is that just not the case?
When do you say, “no”?
Let’s say you’re approached by a potential client. They request a meeting to discuss their needs, and so you set one up.
The day prior to the meeting you email them to confirm. They email back, cancelling the meeting, without a strong apology, and with a reason that they must have known about previously.
Do alarm bells start ringing?
Maybe, if ‘keeping commitments’ is one of your values. However, you recognise that everyone has to cancel sometimes, so you let that slide.
Although the lack of apology did have a whiff of lack of empathy…and ‘having an empathic approach’ is another of your values.
And you wonder what would have happened if you hadn’t contacted them to confirm…
But it seems too early to make a judgement. There’s just not enough reason to say “no”. So the potential client asks for alternative dates, and you send them.
Alarm bells yet?
A faint ding, ding perhaps? Especially if ‘reply in a timely way’ is a value.
Finally they get in touch – they’ve been busy. This rubs against your value of ‘don’t act like you’re the only busy person’, and makes you a little sore. But you keep going, because it’s the work that matters, etc.
The meeting times you’d suggested have been and gone. So there’s now more to-ing and fro-ing, another meeting is set up, confirmed, and — finally — off you go.
You arrive at the venue in good time. It’s 10 minutes prior to the meeting. Beep…email…from the potential client’s secretary, cancelling. The note asks that you get in touch to reschedule.
Are the alarm bells jangling now?
Is ‘respect others’ time’ a guiding value?
In Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action, Simon Sinek talks about how the goal of business “should not be to do business with anyone who simply wants what you have.” Rather, you should say “no” to those who don’t work with the same values.
When we are selective about doing business only with those who believe in our WHY, trust emerges.
Irrespective of a values clash, some people would plough on — setting up more meetings, and yes, maybe eventually securing work.
But what would the quality of that work be like?
And what kind of working relationship would it be, based on the evidence?
You might make money. But at what cost?
What would you do?
Would you say “no”?
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