When is it right to say no to new business?

I think it is fairly true to say that times are not exactly easy at the moment and that the process of attracting and subsequently winning new clients has probably never been tougher than it is in the current economic climate, but, I feel that there are times when a business should be strong enough to say no.

But….when it that time? When is it right (….or is it right) to say no to new business?

Well, I dont think there is a formula for taking this type of action, but I have just found myself in a position where I was approached by a great piece of potential business. The company in question wanted to launch a new business and required a logo and a website all done within a fairly short timescale so that he could attend a function where he had these marketing platforms in place.

All was going very well in the meeting as I was able to show the prospect examples of similar work already delivered for similar clients. However, when the conversation turned to money, the figure specified by the prospect was probably a third of what Bath Marketing Consultancy would normally charge…….and we are a very “cost effective” company compared to some marketing companies!

Having slept on things, I decided to politely decline the business. The reaction from the prospect was a little frosty and the words “well, I will go and talk to someone else” were used, but a month or so on, I know I made the right decision.

In a nutshell, there are plenty of organisations who “buy” business. These organisations seem to put very little value on their levels of experience, their service levels, their staff or even the end products or services they deliver relying heavily on their costing structure to acquire new business. I see this approach to marketing as one that can only totally devalue a brand. After all, what happens when someone else adopts that marketing strategy and simply undercuts you? I know that customers who are happy to pay a premium for service and the all round package another organisation offers are in decline, but if you do want to use costs as a motive for others to work with you, market this as a one off “sale” and put a time limit on it.

I saw a company on Twitter recently offering a similar package to Bath Marketing Consultancy’s “Marketing Tool Kit” (offer on until end of October 2012) at just over £500. I dont actually know how that is even possible not only sustainable!!

To me, cheap very often turns out to be very expensive and when it comes to your brand or your marketing message, you need to make sure prospects see the whole picture and really see the value in what you offer. In addition, I dont know anyone who would ask a service provider like a dentist to do a cheap job or a Solicitor to “bang out a will” would you??!!!!


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