As an entrepreneur I got into this game to make more money for myself, like everyone else. The thing that I face continuously is should I make the sale or save my soul. The answer is surprisingly easy for me, I save my soul every time. I’m hoping that I rack up enough business karma to hit my goal of a $350m company, but in the meantime here is how I measure the situation.
Why did I start?
I started my firm because I saw how little good advice businesses were getting from consultants that operated on a volume billing mentality. I genuinely wanted to help and while this Pollyanna attitude may have shot me in the foot on some instances, the end results is a really great reputation. People are referred to me through colleagues and when I put out a request for help I am inundated with responses. The result is my clients trust me with the things that they value the most, their business.
The golden rule
As a small business, I know how much it hurts to pay for something really expensive and have it not help your business at all. So I treat my clients the way I want my vendors to treat me. If it can’t be done or someone else can do it better, I will tell them. If they want to pursue a specific course of action, I tell them what my concerns are and let them decide how they want to proceed. I feel like giving all the information helps them make better business decisions, and that’s why I started.
Timing is everything
This is true no matter the business size, if the time isn’t right the business is going to suffer. Some things will take a couple of months to come to fruition but if they are done right, the business wins. Some things have a long sales cycle and that can frustrating, but sometimes it is necessary. Patience wins way more business than rushing into a business deal because it looks great. If you need something visual, think about Bank of America and Countrywide.
Businesses owners work hard and at the end of the day all you have is what you do. And if you do it the right way then you know that when the stars don’t align it is okay to talk yourself out of the sale. Do what’s best for your customer’s and they will do what’s best for you.