The value of a timely 'F*ck Off'

CC by loush

There is one thing I wish western culture learned from Eastern European folks, and it’s being more straightforward. I meet new people everyday. Quite a lot of those new connections can be potentially good for my business. Most of them won’t be. I don’t mind. It’s nobody’s fault. My product might not be right for you. You might be too busy to focus on implementing it at the moment. It might not be possible for us to cooperate because of some ‘political’ issues. It’s possible that you simply don’t like me. I don’t care, as long as you tell me now.

Quite often we end up talking to that Big Important Customer for 6 months, just to hear that ‘things have changed’ or ‘we need to focus elsewhere at the moment’, while the answer was obvious from the start. This is why I value the approach that Fred Destin once described in his blog post on The one-sentence e-mail turndown – a quick no is worth a lot more than a nice half year long ‘conversation’. But it’s a two sided issue – quite often we should move on if the dynamics of the new relationship is not performing the way it should be.

So please Mrs/Mr Important Customer, the next time you get a call from someone that wants to do business with you, and you’re not interested, just say no. You don’t have to be rude. People will understand (eventually). It will save them a lot of time, in which they can do quite a lot of new business. And if you’re the guy being told ‘no’ within first week of new business relationship – just be grateful and move on.

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4 comments on “The value of a timely 'F*ck Off'
  1. Fred Destin says:

    hey marcin, do tell us what’s on your mind :-) Americans and Israelis are much easier to read from this standpoint, and at least you know why they don’t want to buy and can actually fight back. nothing worse than being stuck in a sawmp not knowing which north is (except maybe for being stuck upshit creek without a paddle, as the americans would say).

    • Fred, I’m positively shocked that you actually went as far as to read that post (but maybe I shouldn’t be, considering the title). It’s a result of my now 6 month stay in London and building business relationship on a more cross-country level. I see and understand a lot more now, which means that I’m wrong just half of the time probably. I’m a huge fan of European multi-cultural vibe and strongly believe that our internal diversity can be turned into asset rather than (current) liability. But we need to get our sh*t together, act faster and be more competitive or other economical powers will turn us into a nice museum/tourist destination. That’s why I also liked your ‘A cry for Europe’ post – because we all need a wake-up call.

  2. Nice post. Point well taken.

    But keep it mind that no means no, and there is no need to ask a few times, every 15 minutes…. You know what I am talking about

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