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Business Consultants Knowing When to Say “No”

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At AccelaWork, we’re big fans of the little word “no.” That’s why we love a new article that advises when not to do business.

Seasoned web designer Greg Hoy offered this gem in Getting to No:

Determining which prospects you want to work with is often considered a luxury. Don’t think of it that way. Even if the economy is in the tank and you absolutely need the gig, you should be very critical of the prospects you’re considering working with. These are the people who will become part of your immediate and potentially long-term future, and you want to make sure you don’t spend that time drinking schnapps to get through the day or grinding your teeth at night.

Remember: the prospect you’re considering is the client you’ll have.

The title of Hoy’s article was a spin on a popular business book from the early nineties. In Getting to Yes, the authors explained how to negotiate so that all parties benefit as you work toward an agreement. But in Getting to No, haggling over details is a sign that you might want to walk away:

If you ?nd yourself unable to come to terms after negotiating ten versions of your contract with your prospect, or if they keep asking for updated project plans before you’ve even signed an agreement, beware. They may show similar tendencies during the actual project, especially if the people you’re negotiating with are the same people on the project team.

In rare cases, such scrutiny garners better results, but it more frequently results in watered-down, design-by-committee mediocrity.

business consultant saying no

© Flickr user RLHyde

Even if you’re not looking to hire contracts, declining work is an important skill. Our blog has covered consultants saying no to work. Productive work environments arise when we are eager to accept responsibilities we know we can tackle and willing to pass on those better left for others. If you need help knowing when to say yes and when to say no, reach out to our business consultants at AccelaWork. We’ll help you learn that two letter word.

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