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Saying NO! To improve!

We all know how hard 2019 was, especially when you consider all the business statistics for the year. 2020 is set to be as difficult; however I believe we are better prepared for it and need to adopt a new focus. We need to evaluate our positions and strategies and birth some radical changes if we are to survive another tough year.

Saying NO is definitely not something that businesses like to say. But saying NO can improve your bottom line if done right. As a company we took a look at how and where our bottom line came from. We soon realised, that if we said NO to a third of our business we would not have seen a huge difference in our bottom line.

Therefore we are adopting a hard look at the type of work we bring in and how we charge for it moving forward. Some clients may not like the new approach, but we need to do what is required to see us through 2020. Like a farmer who prunes the dead branches off his vines to allow the plant to grow properly.

2019 saw us merging, which brought about its own set of challenges, with a big shake up internally. Now we are shaking it up even more and it feels good to say NO. This means we can concentrate on what makes us more profitable as a company. A sustainable company, with improved efficiencies and deliverables.

As a sales person, saying NO is the hardest thing I have had to learn, but saying NO means I’am more focused. It also frees me up to acquire new work better suited to our plant, as I am not bogged down by non profitable jobs, clogging up production. Things just seem to work better.

Here are two practical tips on how to politely say no without hurting your relationships or tarnishing your reputation.


When considering to say no to a customer, you need to ask is: Is this in our best interest and in the clients best interest? If the answer to either question is not an emphatic “yes,” you are better off helping the client find an alternative.

But you can’t just say, “No, my company cannot help you” because that would make you look inflexible. Instead of flatly refusing, you need to explain to the client why what they are asking for isn’t in their best interest

Pushing back a little. Ultimately is okay, smart clients will see that you share their interest in making their business or project a success.


Often, these requests are couched in the promise of future opportunities that may or may not come to pass.


If you politely decline to offer concessions and demonstrate that you are always operating in your client’s best interest, they will see value and everyone can benefit.

  • This article was written by: Christian Jaggers (Shumani RSA) Sales Representative:
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