Saying no to a prospect is hard. For some business owners, it’s almost impossible. And that’s a problem.
Being eager to grow your business is a good thing, but please don’t let your drive and enthusiasm slip into being so eager to please that some patients start taking advantage of your good nature.
Here’s what happens.
Demanding patients keep demanding more.
You keep surrendering until eventually you can’t deliver on your word and you fail to meet their expectations. Resentment builds on both sides and finally, those patients take their business elsewhere.
So, if you want to be able to take your aesthetic practice to the next level, you need to know when to say no – and say it well. Here are 4 situations that demand a ‘No’…
1. When a patient is disrespectful of your processes:
You’ve spent time honing your processes for a reason, things work best that way. Patients who aren’t willing to respect your processes and your team, are more trouble than they’re worth – however big their purse is. Saying yes to patients who clearly won’t accept your rules of engagement will ultimately demoralise your team and make it next to impossible for you to deliver a good service.
Be clear on your processes from the start so neither you nor your patient needs to waste time and effort pursuing a relationship that just won’t work. If they can’t get on board, be firm, say no.
2. When patients just won’t hear you:
Some of your patients may be listening to your advice and your recommendations but they just aren’t hearing you. They ignore what you’re saying and then still expect you to fix it all. Every interaction gets you nowhere, their expectations are never met and your time is wasted.
Sometimes you need to know when to say no after you’ve said yes. Patient relationships can start out well and then go awry. If you can’t bring their demands and expectations back in line, it’s time to lay your cards on the table. If they ultimately say no to what you’re proposing, then it’s time to say no right back and part ways.
3. When a patient asks you to do something you know you can’t do well:
When a patient asks you to do work that you know doesn’t play to your strengths, saying yes and providing a poor or mediocre result will only result in your reputation suffering. That’s a cost you can’t afford, however much revenue that patient may initially send your way.
So how should you say no? Be upfront, explain exactly what you can do and what you can’t. You can even refer them to clinics and practitioners who are better placed to meet their expectations. Patients will respect you for it and when they do want you to do something that fits your bill, they’re more likely to turn to you.
4. When patients want you to offer treatments and services that don’t align with your brand or your vision:
Doing one thing well is better than doing lots of things poorly. Don’t be distracted; diversification is good but only when it complements your existing services and ethos. This is very different than saying yes to every suggestion that is put to you; whether it comes from a patient, supplier or sales rep. You’ll end up pulled in different directions and with your resources spread thinly, you won’t make any headway.
Now that you know when to say no, start saying it. Don’t think of it as turning away customers and business opportunities. Think of it as finding the right customers and opportunities for your company.