When to say NO, When to say yes, & Where to draw a line.

Have you ever been in that situation, where to win the sale you have said YES to everything that the customer throws at you. It’s okay, I’m sure we have all been there; I’ve done it couple of times in the past. It’s amazing when we’re growing up we were told to say No to everything by our elders, like: No to Drugs, No to Alcohol, No strangers.

Before you know it, you have promised the customer the world, and have set their expectations to be really high. Which when you walk away and come back to your senses, you actually start to realise that you have allot of work to do to meet this clients expectations and to deliver this project.

Overtime, if we continue to do this, we will start to impact our brand, and business, as there will come a time, were clearly we will not be able to deliver to the customers’ expectations. Besides not hitting the target, the stress, the late nights and unsocial hours of working, all these come into mind. So the best thing is to keep away from this, and set real expectations.

Why would you want to say No to your customers?

There are couple of scenarios that you have to say no to your clients such as:

Too much work: You have a allot of work on, and clearly by taking on new projects, you would not be able to devote your 100% service, and not do any justice to your services.

Unrealistic tasks: Your customer is asking to you to carry out tasks that are unrealistic, and no matter how much you try, you will not be able to accomplish.

Bad experience: Where you have had bad experience with this or this type of customer, you want to keep away from them.

But how do you tell your client No?

We have all head the saying that the customer is always right, yes but only when the customer knows and understands your business, besides that most of the time the customer just needs advise, and assistance, and may not be right at all. So it’s oaky to say NO.

You may have learnt the hard way but for sure if you keep saying Yes to everything that the customer states, you are building a wrong reputation of your business, it may seem good at the time, and the customer will probably bee pleased, as all of their ideas and suggestions are being taken on board and implemented. But during the process, you may find that your team that you work with would get upset due to the high level of unscheduled or unplanned work.

The other thing that the customer will get into a habit is that you and your team can do the impossible, its natural, you have made the customer think like this, once the customer gets into that mindset, it can be quite a task to break that and make them understand that its not as simple as it seems.

Effects of saying YES to everything?

Overworked: By accepting everything you are over working yourself and selling yourself short, besides the overworking as you are putting unrealistic hours into the project, you’re productivity is probably not brilliant.

Fail to meet deadlines: Most of the time, when you discuss points with your client, you accept all the new changes, but for some reason the time scales or the deadlines have not been discussed for them to be rearranged. Customer is left with the understanding that the project will be completed within the initial promised date. This can cause confusion with the customer and also if the project is not met on time, can resolve in upsetting the customer.

A push over: Overtime if your get to be known as a person saying yes to everything, you could be known as a push over, easy to get round, or easy to convince. Which you can lose respect. By saying No, you are showing that you have limits, and respect yourself and your work.

More Dependable: By not saying yes to everything that comes your way, when you do take on a job, your customers will also know that you are dead serious about it, and you will give it your 100%.


When taking on work or dealing with your customers, take a minute to think, that are you really going to deliver to this customers expectations, or will you be able to work with this customer to make this project succeed, as at the end of the day you’re in business, and you have a reputation to build or stand up to.

Image by vlauria

Article By: Wasim Ismail

Wasim’s a project manager at Alrayes Web Solutions along with an online SEO consultant & blogger for business at wasimismail.com, specialising in online business.

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