How to promote your business by saying 'no'.

Grumpy NO face cartoon

"Are you crazy Paul?"

"Why would I say no to work?"

Stay with me, I begin to make more sense.

I know, you've spent a lot of money to make your phone ring and get enquiries from the internet, but every business should be saying 'no' to 5% of their enquiry calls most of the year.



1. Because, while you are busy, some of those jobs are further away from your base and will cost you in time and missed opportunities, over more jobs, closer to home.

2. Because, while you have plenty of work, the type of work requested isn't what you normally do, or you don't like doing it.

It's important to knock back (or refer to another mate in your business) 5% of your new enquiries most of the year.


As you know, in April and May every year your phone goes quiet (You didn't know that?). 


People just don't call (I know, I've tracked the phone calls of hundreds of small business). The only businesses that have a lift in calls during April and May is the Hot Water guys.

So, because you know there are ups and downs in business all the time, if you have the 'fat' of 5% of your enquiries you have been knocking back, the rest of the time, you can say 'yes' to them, when it's slow. 

ways to promote your business
When the phone is quiet you will travel a little further for work (after all, some work is better than none, eh). At those times you will probably say 'yes' to some types of work, you don't do normally - am I right?

If you never had the 'fat' of the 5% of enquires you have been knocking back the rest of the year, you wouldn't have them to draw on in April and May when the phone goes quiet.



How to promote your business by saying 'no'.

Imagine this: you've gone into the supermarket for some milk and they have a big display of Arnott's TimTam biscuits for $1 per packet.

how to promote your business
You think "WOW, I love TimTams - I'll get some"

But theres a problem. Theres a big sign that reads:

Limit 2 per customer

So, what do you do? You pick up 2 packets and head for the checkout with your milk.

Why did you do that? Your wife only told you to pick up milk, but you went home with TimTams as well.

Don't worry, I've done the same thing too.

We do that because of the principle of 'Scarcity'.

The buscuits are real cheap; there aren't many left; they probably won't last at that price; a sense of panic sets in; you better get them NOW.

The principle of 'Scarcity' has highlighted the need for you to act now.

That's why when continuing to practice the habit of the '3X3 System' and a potential client wants you to stop what you are doing and give them a quote or look at a problem they have, you should say a polite 'no'.

Now you probably shouldn't say just 'no', but you need to give the impression you are a busy person that works strictly to appointments and you are happy to return at another time (give them two options of times) and have a look at their problem.

Even if you have nothing to do for the rest of that day, don't fall into the trap of stopping what you are doing - you must maintain your 'posture' as someone who is 'hard to get' because you are busy.


how to promote your businessWhen you are looking for a sandwich shop to buy your lunch and you see two; one is quiet the other has a queue of people waiting to be served, which shop do you go to? The busy one right?

Why? Because you figure if ALL those people are prepared to wait, that sandwich shop must be the best. 'Scarcity' comes into play here too.


When you are busy you can afford to be 'picky'. Let people know you are REALLY busy, but you will see if you can SQUEEZE them in.

What impression does that give? 

It says, you must be really good at what you do. You are in high demand. People are prepared to wait, just to have you.

The music people hear is the tune of 'Scarcity'.



How to promote your business by saying 'no' - applies to me too.

If you have been thinking about finally learning how to 'boost your local work, without advertising', and want to book that Session 1 for next week - I am going to have to say 'I'm sorry, I can't fit you in next week - I'm fully booked' (true story).

I will do my best to find a time when we can meet; I am about to run more sessions with people by Skype - even from other other countries in the world.

See how 'Scarcity' affects how you view, what I offer? 

You can use this hidden tool in your business too.

Till next time,

how to promote your business






Paul Johnson



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