Picture this; you’re a startup founder or sales guy, you’re energetic, slightly desperate, but enthusiastic, and a client wants you to pivot so that they can use your service for their company. This is a huge pay cheque but diverts your company from its true path.

Maybe, just maybe, you should be saying ‘No’.

For entrepreneurs, a single client can hurt a lot. Especially at the start.

There is the same issue when the client is a long-term partner and has ongoing business. However, saying ‘No’ is a necessity that every businessman has to learn to be comfortable with.

We spoke to our entrepreneurs to find out how they would go about it.


Give them an Alternative

At times, a situation arises where you have to deny your favourite client when they asked you for that one extra favour too many. Saying ‘No’ to the proposal could harm your relationship with them.

Offering another option while saying no could help in that situation. Look for a solution that works for both parties – may be an extension of the contract, a subsidized fee for the work or even stretching the work over your contract period to avoid strain on your business.

Don’t rush the ‘No’

You need to be 100% sure if you’re saying ‘No’ to a client. Weigh the pros and cons of every decision before jumping to a decision.

The effort to onboard a client and maintain the relationship may not be worth the risk of saying ‘No’ to a single request.

Provide a reason for the ‘No’

If you have a proper rationale and you’re able to convey that to a client, this should soften the blow of saying ‘No’ to them.

Every client has to understand that while they employ you to provide them with a service, they can’t expect an unreasonable amount without the proper restitution.

Be Empathetic

No one likes being told ‘No’, so always listen to the entrepreneur and be empathetic. By showing that you’re understanding as well and there is a reason for your refusal, it will help soften the blow.

This is essential in maintaining a strong connection to your client and being able to succeed.


To read more great articles like this, visit our Tech for Business section.