Monday, 21 July 2008

Time to walk away ...

When is it that time?

We hear many different ways of describing our clients.

The main categorization that seems to stick in our minds here:
  1. Class A: Trusted Advisor Relationship.
    • Do what needs to be done.
  2. Class B: Consultant building towards Trusted Advisor.
    • Let's talk about what needs to be done and then do it.
  3. Class C: Other.
    • New prospects, occasional clients, others.
So, when we come across a situation where the prospective client, or even a relatively new client, does not seek to build a business relationship with us, what do we do?

We take the time to fully evaluate our communications and prospective relationship building with that new client.

If the "spider sense" is tingling (this is where really good communication with the techs and others in contact with that client pays off), or there is a clear "expecting something for nothing" flag, or anything along those lines, then it is fairly clear where we need to go:
Mr./Ms. Client,

Thank you very much for taking the time to approach MPECS Inc. with your current SBS and I.T. infrastructure needs.

However, due to a number of new and ongoing I.T. infrastructure projects, our technicians are now booked well into the late Fall time frame.

Thus, we will not be able to help you out at this time.

Thank you again for approaching us.

Philip Elder President & CEO
Maintaining a simple and polite brevity is of import here. An apology is not needed as we have done nothing to offend by politely declining their business.

No matter what the financial status of our own company is, whether we are in Feast or Famine mode (not so applicable for us anymore due to our hybrid managed services setup), we must always keep in mind that our business' integrity comes before our need for cash flow.

Allowing a company, or person, to take advantage of us for our skills and abilities in order to make some cash flow happen benefits no one. And, in the long run it can establish a pattern of business behaviour in us that may end up destroying us and our company.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

*All Mac on SBS posts are posted on our in-house iMac via the Safari Web browser.

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