Anyone who thinks that enterprise sales/account management means agreeing with the client all the time is wrong. People develop wacky ideas about their own business all the time, often because they are either stuck in silos or they are too close to the issues. This does not mean it’s a good idea to implement them.
For me, the really interesting part of working with a client is understanding how their whole business works and serving that best interest, not just the interest of whoever is in charge of the RFP this week. This is the only way you become a proper advisor and someone the client will trust no matter what they’re looking for. It doesn’t mean you’ll always conclude a sale, but it does make it much more likely they will always make sure you’re at the table.
In no particular order then, here are my top reasons to say “no” to a prospective or existing client:
i. You/your company does not provide the product/service they need
ii. The client is seeking to support a business process that is sub-optimal
iii. The requirements are not clear – and neither is the expected outcome
iv. You don’t believe what the client wants – or says they want – is good for their business
Are there others you can think of, or does this list cover most reasons?