One of the most challenging situations in business is having to turn away a potential client. There may be a number of reasons why you may not be able to help, including, but not limited to: the customer can’t afford your product or service, you may not have the resources to handle what the customer is requesting, or maybe the requests are flat out unreasonable. Whatever the reason, though, try to refrain from simply saying no. 

If a customer comes to you for a service, product, or even advice, it’s likely because you’re the first person or business they thought of. Instead of turning them away, try finding a viable solution, or at least a viable path forward. After all, there are many roads that lead to the same solution. 

Say No Without Saying No

In business, and especially customer service, it’s a general rule of thumb that the customer is always right. However, there are situations or circumstances where that may not always be the case. You know your business better than anyone else, and sometimes you may run into a situation where you know you are unable to help a customer achieve the solution they are after. 

If you believe your business can’t offer a solution in the form of purchasing a product or service, try leaving your clients with a practical starting point that will get them on the path to achieving their goal. This way, you’re not directly saying no; you are still providing value to the customer, all while selling yourself (and your business) with your expertise.

Customer Retention

Gaining new customers is an expensive feat. Not only does it take a tremendous amount of work and energy, but it also costs a significant amount of marketing and customer service dollars to gain the trust of new clientele. Did you know it costs five times as much to attract new customers than it does to keep your existing ones? So once you have gained the trust of your new customer, how will you keep it? 

The key is to nurture the relationships that you’ve spent time and money-making. While you may not be able to provide your service or product to the client, you can always be a part of the solution to their problem. Try searching for other businesses that may be able to provide a solution, or build alliances with other people that can be a part of a resolution. Understanding how to build strategic partnerships with other businesses can help you fill gaps and access resources. This characteristic will naturally transfer to strengthening relationships with your clients. 

Always Stay Connected

By remaining in contact with your customers, you can remain their first thought the next time they require your product, service, or expertise. Further, if you refer one of your clients to a business alliance, you want to be sure they’re finding the solution to their problems. The last thing you want is to continue to refer clients to a different business, only for the client to become unhappy. 

Lastly, by keeping in touch with your clients, you can always inform them of any changes in your business. This way, if you are able to fulfill their future requests, they will continue thinking of you and will keep your business at the top of their list. 

At the end of the day, you want to be able to manage your relationships with your customers. You want them to always think of you, and your business, before the competitors. There’s always an answer to your client’s needs, they just might need you to help them figure out what that answer is. 

About Roy Murad (edited from

Roy Murad is a father, husband, business advisor, investor, consummate entrepreneur, and advocate for new business ventures. Over the course of 35 years, Roy Murad has amassed a wealth of experience from building businesses, guiding companies, and identifying strong investment opportunities – all while nurturing a thriving family. Now, he looks to share his valuable experience with everyone who desires to live a balanced and successful life.

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