How Saying “No” To Customers Wins Us Business

“Hi, can you help us with XYZ?”

“Yes, but… why?”

Roughly 80% of our customers are referrals. The conversations often start like this one. People call for help with a specific program, tactic, or event to market, and many times when asked if we can help, we say no. Then, they hire us.

We start by asking clarifying questions to determine the outcome they are working towards. More specifically we ask, “Why do you want to do that? What’s the goal you’re looking to achieve?” Some projects we’ve turned down include building and marketing apps, developing a large audience on Facebook, managing a 7-figure ad campaign, and (most often) “do our SEO.”

Instead of building apps we’ve created  and marketed landing pages that generate cost effective leads. Instead of getting Facebook fans we’ve created LinkedIn corporate pages that  generate traffic from qualified customers. Instead of SEO, we’ve tested copy and design elements of your website to optimize conversion rates. What we really do though, is provide a strategic direction for your intended outcome.

Here is a general rule of thumb when approaching social media strategy: Follow the Forrester model of P.O.S.T.

People: Who is your audience, where are they online, and how do they interact with the web?

Objectives: What do you want to accomplish and what actions do you want your audience to take?

Strategies: How will your relationship with your customers change and how are you measuring success?

Technology: What tools are you using to activate your audience?

This process was developed for the Forrester Research book Groundswell
one of the earliest (and still best) books on social media strategy. An updated and expanded version was released in 2011 which is a very long time ago in web years.

So please use the acronym P.O.S.T. for yourself in your planning process and don’t hesitate to call us for an opportunity to be told “no,” so we can work together.