‘Yes’ is limiting your marketing effectiveness

You only have so many hours in a day. Because your time is limited, you want to make the most of it by focusing on what matters.

You may have heard that saying ‘yes’ to everything guarantees that you never miss an opportunity. However, while the power of yes can open the right doors for you, it can also shut them. For every client you say ‘yes’ to without first recognising whether they are a good match for your firm, you may be saying ‘no’ to someone who is.

Perhaps it’s time that you realise that saying ‘no’ now could mean having the opportunity to say ‘yes’ to something more prosperous in the future.

The art of saying ‘no’

The word ‘no’ carries the tone of negativity. However, when you change the narrative and embrace that ‘no’ has the power to invite as much opportunity as ‘yes,’ you learn how to harness it and positively impact your firm.

Law firms often have this down pat – as sometimes the best defences against legal malpractice problems is effectively selecting and thoughtfully rejecting those clients that are not the right fit. By enforcing a selection process, you mitigate risk and lessen the stress that comes when dealing with unreasonable clients. You don’t just do this to avoid trouble, but to save your entire office from the pressure of trying to please an over-demanding client or one that you don’t have the expertise or experience to service.

When you promote yourself as someone who says ‘yes’ to everything, you may think it’s a great way to attract more clients and generate more business. But by not filtering your leads, you’re essentially opening the floodgates to welcome toxic clients with unrealistic expectations, who continually grumble about your fees and demand that they be your top priority…or else!

The problem with ‘yes’

Saying ‘yes’ to everything means you are likely to be a jack-of-all-trades and master of none. While you possess many skills, you’ve probably spread yourself so thin that you can’t possibly say you are an expert at all of them. By saying ‘yes’ to everything, you become a generalist. You can’t be unique. You can’t be a specialist. You can’t charge higher rates because you’re the provider of unique advice and insight.

Becoming a specialist is what can differentiate you and lead to a deeper understanding of your client, allowing you to give more meaningful and valuable advice. By always saying ‘yes,’ you can’t set aside enough time to understand your industry deeply enough to be a specialist in your field. You can’t become the go-to expert.

Time is valuable, and it takes a lot of it to be competent in just one area of professional expertise – let alone four or five. When you say ‘yes’ instead of ‘no,’ you find yourself being pulled away from focusing on your core competency and you can’t perform to your highest level – disappointing for you, your client, your firm and your reputation.  As deadlines aren’t met, and goals not achieved, clients are disappointed and question your capacity to deliver results.

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