Believe it or not, you don’t have to say yes to every prospect that knocks on your door (as much as we all want to). A large part of attracting and converting your ideal clients means turning down those that don’t fit the bill to keep space open for the ones that do. Additionally, your clients can influence organizational culture and operations. Since these two factors greatly drive your bottom line, it’s okay to say sayonara to those that may impact you negatively, and here are five reasons when you should.
The work you do for your clients is likely divvied amongst different members of your team. If that work is too demanding, or if collaborating with your client is difficult, it can affect the entire atmosphere of the workplace. No one wants to work in a high pressure, high-stress atmosphere just because business leaders have dollar signs in their eyes.
Your employees are constantly communicating and collaborating with your clients. If they’re difficult to work with, negative, demanding, or have poor communication in general, it’s almost a guarantee that your employees will feel the heat. Naturally, this can lead to costly employee turnover or absenteeism. Turning down a difficult client shows your employees you value them, and are invested in their satisfaction.
Our two biggest resources are time and money, and a client who doesn’t respect either of those aren’t worth working with. You’ll know they don’t respect your time if they’re constantly pushing back or canceling meetings, showing up late to calls, or taking a few days responding to critical emails. You’ll know they don’t respect your financial resources if they’re constantly paying their invoices late. Let’s face it, we all love the clients who pay one the same day.
Any sort of business relationship is built on the basis of trust and integrity. If a client has a shady background, is at risk for financial health, or has shaky internal operations, it’s very likely they’re not going to make a good partner. It’s just like dating — if you spot red flags, it might be best not to proceed with the relationship.
Most successful business leaders will tell you that your intuition plays a large role in your business decisions. When it comes down to the final moments of sealing a partnership, but it doesn’t feel right among you or any of your employees, it may be best to turn them down. In fact, you should encourage your employees to share their input if they find information that doesn’t quite sit right about your prospect. At the end of the day, there could be many reasons why you should turn down a client, and not all of them will be apparent. The best you can do is spot the red flags, trust your intuition, and value the health and wellbeing of your employees enough to not let negative clients impact them or the organizational environment in general.