Learn to Say NO for Ad Agency New Business

say no for ad agency new business

To be more successful, you’ll need to be less accessible.

Owners of small to midsize agencies are a key to new business. You must manage your time wisely.  Learn to say “no” to the wrong requests and “yes” to the right ones. 

This reminds me of the following quote from Michael Hyatt,  author of the New York Times bestseller, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World.

Every time I say “no” to something that is not important, I am saying “yes” to something that is.

I have always had a difficult time saying no to people.  Like Michael Hyatt, I’m a people pleaser and I really hate to turn anyone down.

Here’s a list of common requests that I encounter on a daily basis:

  • People wanting to provide a guest post for my blog.
  • Requesting a call or face-to-face meeting to “pick-my-brain.”
  • Invitations to review a new tool or product.
  • People asking me to review and evaluate a new website/blogsite.
  • Read and comment on an article.
  • Authors asking me to review their book.
  • Single issue email questions.
  • Partnering requests for those that want to target advertising, digital, media or PR agencies.
  • Invitations to speak at events or conduct online training for those outside of my target audience.
  • A request to advertise on my blog.

Develop the fortitude to limit your accessibility.

I know that I have a limited amount of time and it has to be preserved so I can remain focused on clients, prospective clients and business objectives. But, whenever you limit your accessibility, you’re faced with the predicament of who gets your time and who doesn’t.

This past week, I received a terse email after I tried to politely decline an invitation for a chat on how this person and I could help each other. The caller’s negative reaction was insightful. The chat was more for his benefit than mine.

The person didn’t realize, and probably wouldn’t have cared, that I just returned from a meeting on the west coast taking a “red-eye” flight back to Birmingham to spend the remainder of the holiday weekend with my family. Just an hour before receiving his request, I had a phone call to tell me that a family member had passed away. I also had new clients that needed my attention, I was behind on a major writing project with a hard due-date and needed to follow-up with my event planner on a series events that required my decisions. I didn’t have the time to explain all of this to him.

Since 2007, I’ve built a significant online community.  I have to proactively preserve time to have the ability to stay engaged with my target audience and consistently create content that is useful to my them. Creating helpful content is what fuels my new business opportunities and the reason why I’ve never had to use interruption type tactics such as “cold calling” for my business.

My success has been enabled by developing the fortitude to limit my accessibility to the right kinds of requests.

You only have so many hours in a day. Whatever requests you choose to accept will limit your ability to do the things that are the most important. You choose to say no, even to worthy things, in order to say yes to your most important priorities.

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photo credit: gomattolson via photopin cc

About Michael Gass

Consultant | Trainer | Author | Speaker

Since 2007, he has been pioneering the use of social media, inbound and content marketing strategies specifically for agency new business.

He is the founder of Fuel Lines Business Development, LLC, a firm which provides business development training and consulting services to advertising, digital, media and PR agencies.

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