What I learned in 2015 #4 Get to the ‘No’ early

get to the 'no' early


This is a series of blog posts. None of them are particularly earth shattering. However, if someone had sat me down a year ago and gone through them with me I’d be in a different place today. This fourth post is about saving time and why you need to get to the ‘no’ early.

I started my own business in 2014 with some big ideas and big goals. 2015 helped me realise some of these but I mostly learned a huge amount about being a small business owner. I thought I’d share what I learned in 2015 to help anyone else who has just started out or is considering making the jump on their own. I hope it makes sense and helps a little.

Get to the ‘No’ early

I realised something that helped limit the failures but mainly the wastes of time. You need to get to the ‘no’ early.

Getting the ‘Yes’ allows you progress the relationship so you can both prosper.

An early ‘no’ means you didn’t waste any time.

If you follow the ‘you either win or you learn’ approach you can tweak whatever is needed to maybe produce a ‘yes’ the next time. And, so long as relations are still cordial you can continue to include that prospect in future marketing communications that may flip them to a ‘yes’ at some point.

Procrastination – a silent killer

The longer the courting part of the process takes the less valuable the client becomes. You typically don’t get paid for the courting bit. So, a long lead in reduces the value of any future pay-off. It’s important to value your time as well as your work.

While we all want a ‘yes’ every time but getting a swift result in the negative will save you time as well as money.

I fell into the trap of thinking every conversation had to be converted into some type of billable event. I had been pitching digital solutions in ‘the world is your oyster’ type of way, which was too vague and maybe a little overwhelming for clients. In my head it meant I could keep the conversation going… ‘OK, so if you’re not interested in this, we could do that… or the other…’

As a result I kept the conversations going longer than needed. Deep down I probably knew what the outcome was going to be but thought if I keep going the ‘yes’ will come eventually. Just because I felt they needed a digital solution doesn’t mean they had to agree with me.

This was exhausting both thinking of ways to crowbar a digital solution into a client’s mind who didn’t really want it and trying to convince myself the ‘yes’ was still a possibility.

With the benefit of hindsight the ‘yes’ generally comes quickly; why would you wait around longer for a ‘no’?

I started to present my service and offering like a physical product with a start and an end. Naturally, there needs to be little tailoring and tweaking for the client. But once it’s packaged and presented the client must decide if it’s needed or it isn’t; its either ‘yes’ or ‘no’.


Spotting a ‘no’ will save you time and money. A ’no’ doesn’t have to be the end forever, but it does need to be the end for now. Wasting time on a ‘no’ could mean you’re missing a ‘yes’ somewhere else. Get to the ‘no’ early.

If you’re a new business owner and want to discuss any of the above OR if you’re a company looking to find their way through digital… give me a shout. All my contact details are HERE.

Thanks for reading.