Do you find yourself agreeing to business-related requests for the wrong reasons, and regretting it later? It’s a common reaction, and happens for many reasons, like not wanting to potentially lose a business opportunity (despite it not being a good fit for your business model), or disappointing the person making the request.
Many financial services professionals responsible for contributing to or responsible for their bottom line can feel pressure to accept most (if not all) of the potential business that comes their way. One important skill to learn is when and how to say no to things that aren’t priorities, in order to protect your time and energy for what is truly important and necessary.
For example, have you ever been asked to speak to a group who wasn’t your target market, but you’ve gone ahead with it because you figured any exposure was positive for your business? This is a great example of a good time to politely decline the invitation and seek speaking opportunities in front of your target audience.
Another example of a good time to say no to an opportunity or request that comes your way is always agreeing to meet with prospects at any time of the day or night.If they become a client, you having previously agreed to meet at any time they desired could set up a precedent for your working relationship that is difficult to alter later.
It is also important to not confuse donating your time with actual marketing.I’ve had many conversations with people who figure that donating their time to an event or cause is equivalent to marketing, as they’re getting in front of new people and making connections, however this is not often the case. In order for donating your time to be a good marketing opportunity, it needs to offer you a way to interact with or get in front of your ideal clients – such as fellow board members for the particular charity you’re working with, or fellow attendees at events supporting your favorite cause. Donating your time is a wonderful thing to do – just be clear about your intentions for how you are spending your time.
A final area you may want to consider saying no to protect your boundaries and time is with a prospect trying to get you to jump through hoops, and asking you to provide a service outside your business model. While in certain cases this may make sense, it typically takes an advisor far off course from their established (more efficient) business model.
Bottom line: it will help your business in the long run if you can say no to requests that will take you off course and detract from your efforts to work with ideal clients. That time will be better spent supporting your momentum in focused ways. If you’re unsure about saying yes or no to a certain situation, a question you can ask yourself is: what’s the likelihood that this activity will pay off and create the results you’re looking for?
If you’d like help building a marketing plan in alignment with your business model and sharpening your decision-making skills around the best types of revenue-generating activities, I would love to speak with you today: firstname.lastname@example.org. I also invite you to read about the various coaching programs I offer and the ways I work with my clients.