The Ability to Say NO Is Critical!
You must learn to say no without feeling guilty. It can be difficult, especially if you are a generous and helpful type personality. You have had your share of struggles to get where you are and you may be inclined to say yes when others ask for help. Review the following two strategies and take them seriously. They can make your decisions much easier. Your time is valuable – you must protect it.
Refuse to Provide Free Services and Consulting: If you provide a service or sell information products, you are probably aware that people are always looking for free help. Everyone who asks will have a long story about why they can’t afford your services. They will tell you how much they need them and how getting them will help them take action and catapult forward with their business.
When you allow people to guilt you into doing what they are asking, you are short changing yourself – and them. They take up valuable time and drag you away from activities that are profitable. You may think you are doing the right thing by helping them, but too much help can cripple people. It prevents them from finding ways to face and conquer their challenges – exactly the same way you and I have done.
That does not mean that you shouldn’t help people. In fact, you can and you should help others; but, there are ways to do it that will build your business at the same time – and there are also ways to say no without feeling guilty.
I am sure you know that getting content out to prospects is a great way to generate leads for your business and helps convert prospects into paying customers. Therefore, you should already have a large library of content and helpful resources available. (If you don’t, you must start building your library NOW!)
For those who are looking for free information, you can offer:
- Free reports
- Instructional videos
- Teleseminars / Webinars
The next time a freebie seeker comes your way direct them to the free offerings you have on your Website. If they have specific questions, tell them they are welcome to submit a question on your question submission form and you will try to answer their question on your blog. If you don’t have a question submission form, make one – it is an excellent research tool for finding out what your prospects want.
EVEN BETTER – Make all your public inquiry emails go through an assistant, so s/he can do this for you (see Strategy #1).This relieves you of the guilt (trust me, I’ve felt it too) and helps reduce the back and forth between unusually persistent freebie seekers.
Individuals who are ready for help will help themselves. If you have good resources available for them, those who are genuinely trying to help themselves will make full use of them. For the others, please don’t waste another minute on them.
Do Not Feel Obligated to Review Products or Consider Joint Ventures: As your business grows, you will probably have more and more people contacting you to promote their products, review them, etc. Feel no obligation to promote anything or even look at a product if you don’t want to do it – especially if it is something in which you have absolutely NO interest. It is critcal to learn to say no, without feeling guilty.
First, you have a reputation to protect. Don’t promote some shoddy product in the hopes that someone will return the favor (to promote your EXCELLENT product, of course!), or feel that you should help out a fellow online business owner.
Second, you have limited time. You can’t review everything just to be nice (or whatever reason motivates you into thinking you should consider all requests). You certainly do not listen to the entire spiel of every telemarketer that calls your home (at least, I hope you don’t). So, why would you feel obligated to consider every request from fellow online business people? It doesn’t matter what they want – a review, an affiliate relationship, a joint venture, etc. it is usually wiser to respond politely, “No, thank you.”
If you are receiving too many joint venture requests, you should have a submission form they can complete. It should clearly state that you receive far too many offers to be able to take them all on, but you are always on the lookout for fresh ideas and quality products. Also tell them that you cannot respond to every inquiry, and they should not expect a personal reply unless you are interested. I know that sounds harsh; but, you must protect your valuable time.
Finally, hire someone to help you. It would be wise to hire a decent writer that you can trust to handle inquiries and let you know if anything interesting pops us. S/he can also review products andwrite reviews for publishing. Remember, you must indicate the reviews are being written by staff members, so you don’t get yourself into hot water.J Obviously, a good writer on staff can be extremely helpful in lightening your load (See Strategies 17 – 20)