Because I Don’t Have To

Quote of the Week

“The art of leadership is saying no, not yes. It is very easy to say yes.”
— Tony Blair

Giving Effective Performance Feedback

by Steve Straus

One day a vendor in a personal services business was being interviewed by a potential client. The prospect seemed ready to sign up but had several things he wanted to change in the way the program worked and wanted to negotiate the fee. The vendor listened and then explained that he had been developing, refining, and delivering the program for many years with a wide range of clients and felt/knew that the changes the prospect wanted would weaken the program.

The prospect became increasingly insistent about how he wanted to do things. The vendor calmly declined to modify the program. Finally, in a loud voice the prospect said, “You’re not going to meet my demands, are you?

Why not?!”

“Because I don’t have to” was the reply.

Now this is not a case of stubbornness on the part of the vendor. It is not a case of the vendor playing the role of a petulant child.

It is a case of a professional knowing what works best.

It is a case of the vendor suspecting that the prospect was going to be a difficult, demanding client and not a good fit for his practice.

But mainly it is a case of having enough reserve so that he didn’t need the business.

Copyright 2008 Steve Straus. All rights reserved. Steve Straus can be contacted at

Coaching Call to Action

Do you know the profile of your ideal client? Do you have enough reserve to be able to say “No” to business which does not fit you well?