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5 Critical Signs You Need to Walk Away From a Sale

We’ve all done it: taken on that client we knew we should walk away from.  But whatever the reason, we took their money, did the work,  and regretted every second of it.  We constantly felt like we weren’t doing enough, our resources were stretched, and our profit margins eroded to practically nothing.

For many of us, we only did this once. For others, we do it again and again. Why? I think it’s important to dig deep and ask ourselves this important question.  However, if you’re faced with a new project or client and your gut is doing a yes-no push and pull,  I’ve created a checklist to help you out.

Walk away form the sale if…. :
Small business say no to a client

  1. Their values don’t match your company’s values. If you’re faced with an opportunity to work with a company or a person who embodies everything you abhor or can’t respect you might want to reconsider taking the job.  Are you going to be able to sleep at night or will you feel like you’re selling out?  I say it’s best to work with people and companies whose values align with yours to avoid any internal conflicts or employee morale issues that could lead to stress and doubt.
  2. They treat you like a vendor and not a partner:  They’re always late, they cancel, come unprepared, or don’t bother to show up for meetings. These things are signs that they don’t respect you or your time. If they don’t respect you now, they’ll certainly not respect you once they start paying you.
  3. They don’t appreciate your value.  They’re nickel and diming you to death over the contract or sale price or they keep asking for you to throw things in for free. If they don’t understand your value now, they probably never will and you’ll constantly feel like you have to justify your fees.
  4. The work isn’t really what you do.  It’s a great contract worth a lot of money, but it’s not really what you do, so you won’t’ be as effective as when working with the right partner/project. It’ll take extra time and resources to make it work and you and your staff will end up  feeling ineffective and frustrated. Do everyone a favor and walk away.
  5. You’re feeling desperate. Every business owner has been there! The bank account’s looking a little low and the pipeline is pretty empty so you’re willing to take on anything just to get paid!  But that nightmare job staring you in the face is not the answer!!! Walk away!!! NOW!  This one requires a good honest gut check and a little faith. But trust me, giving up the wrong client and waiting for the right one is always the right thing to do. For one thing, if you’re spinning in circles trying to make the wrong client happy, you’re probably missing out on opportunities with the right prospects!

The bottom line is, like anything else in life, if it just doesn’t feel right, don’t do it! Walk away! If you follow these guidelines, I promise you’ll be happier, your employees will be happier, your good customers who value will be happier, and your profits will soar!

If you would like help attracting great customers who value you and are willing to pay what your worth, Fortune Marketing can help. Contact us for a consultation today!

Do you have any other signs that it’s time to walk away? If so, please share them with us!

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4 Responses

  1. I would have to say its hard to walk away from a sale sometimes. I think your right but many businesses need the sale and can’t be too picky. But, in the end it can be better to walk away and get a better customer or client. This is something everyone needs to work on. Thanks!

    1. Carolyn

      HI Joey,
      I agree, it can be very hard to walk away, but experience and having a roster full of amazing clients who value you can make it a lot easier, don’t you think? Thank you for reading our blog and especially for taking the time to comment! – Carolyn

  2. Great article and great point among many, “align values with your values”. Another sign (really more of an evaluation criteria) I’d add is … Infrastructure is not in place for my company to effectively satisfy and amaze the client (and they don’t want to change the impediment due to cost or loyalty issues). Thanks — I will post this on my office wall!

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