Turning down a deal isn’t a failure!
Having trouble refusing a project, despite doubts about its viability and a sputtering start? Many procurement processes require sellers to expend a lot of energy, but are also arduous for buyers, resulting in multiple meetings, longer response times and reduced quality, which can cause the top potential suppliers to back out to avoid wasting their time. There’s only one solution: saying no as fast as you can.
Saying no to a project means you want to go in another direction. It’s obviously easier just to go with the flow. The larger the prize up for grabs, the more we are tempted to put our head down and forge ahead. If you need encouragement, always remember that the bidding process always has two winners: The final winner and the one who exits the race first.
Saying no makes sales reps more efficient, because they can focus on real opportunities, and also makes clients rethink their practices. When it comes to competitive bidding, sometimes the best motto to live by is “Just say no!”
Saying no means that you know your weaknesses, which is always a good sign for you and for your client. You get the chance to take stock of the situation and finally establish clear positioning. What is the problem? Resources? Time? Quality? Overwhelming competition?
And if you’re ever in need of inspiration, watch Kevin Spacey in the TV series House of Cards, where he plays a vice president who refuses to follow the president’s orders. Saying no is confident, charismatic and utterly classy!
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