Many Founder suffer because they don’t”No” can say. In doing so, they endanger him Success ihrer Company – and yourself. Because the Customer is king, therefore he must be courted. The more similar products and services become, the more important the service becomes. If price is not the sole criterion, the value of friendly and competent advice increases. But that throws up new ones Problems .

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The customer is king - always?

For founders, this opens up opportunities. They can be used by high personal commitment - and that can lead to problems. Who offers good service, balancing on the fine line between customer satisfaction and self-exploitation

The customer is king – and much sought after. Of course he should if possible sustained to your own Company be bound. And as products and services become increasingly similar, it works best through service.


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After all, friendly, competent and fast advice is increasingly important for prospective buyers, in addition to low prices, to buy a product - or not.

Big companies have their people for that. And usually so many buyers for their product that they can't even respond to special requests. No wonder, then, that small and sole proprietorships in particular, who often cannot undercut the prices of the big ones, see their chance here with a tailor-made on the customers to score tailored service.

High personal commitment

A high level of personal commitment is required - and this can lead to problems. Because good service is a constant balancing act between customer satisfaction and self-exploitation for many small businesses.

IT-Consultant Matthias experienced it firsthand: the client's server crashed - and the young entrepreneur was there on Sundays at no extra charge. An acquaintance was looking for advice on buying a laptop - and of course Matthias didn't take a fee for the "small" favor.

Extra wishes instead of strategy

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With the intention of gaining prospects for his service, the IT consultant too often dwelled on extra requests – and thus kept away from important ones Tasks away. What followed was the crash:

Not only did Matthias exhaust himself completely, he also lost his most important client: “I wanted to please everyone. As a result, I was quite stressed and made a programming error on an order. That shouldn't have happened, ”admits the failed businessman self-critically.

Timely draw the line

But it doesn't have to come to that. Because it is not at all necessary to really tell the customer every wish Eyes read. On the contrary: "Companies must not take a soft course towards their business partners," explains Niels van Quaquebeke, head of the RespectResearchGroup (RSG) at the University Hamburg, a common mistake.

“A clear 'No' that is understandable for the other person can do much more recognition increase for a company. The entrepreneur should make it clear that he is not simply arbitrarily refusing a request, but has good reasons for his 'no' and is therefore acting responsibly."

Who is respected?

A current study by the RSG is doing clear, why this is so: Accordingly have People quite simply certain ideas about how competent and respectable people should be: namely, trustworthy, reliable and fair, among other things.

“Anyone who makes promises that they cannot keep puts their good reputation at risk. And in the end that's really bad for you Shop" said van Quaquebeke.

Say "No" in a friendly but consistent manner

Personal trainer Tanja Baum also confirms this: “No one can fulfill everyone’s wishes – especially not in business life. But if you take your customers seriously, put yourself in their shoes and explain why you have to turn down a request, you will gain understanding.” Who Honestly admits that he cannot help and does not make excuses, is respected precisely for this consequence. But: Customers always want to have the feeling that you are making an effort to look after them.

And the sound makes the music – the Art is simply a friendly “No! accept. In her book of the same name, Baum gives numerous tips on how to do this. For example alternatives if possible Solutions offer so that the customer does not have the feeling of standing in the rain. Or at least make things easier for the customer. And always think actively and I aufmerksam Listen: "Anyone who asks interested questions during a conversation shows that they are fundamentally willing to help," explains the author. On the other hand, empty phrases are taboo – then the customer just feels brushed off.

Always friendly and relaxed

Despite all the friendliness, customers whose requests have been rejected sometimes react quite harshly. Personnel expert Baum advises to remain friendly even then and also less nice to see complaints as an opportunity to clarify the matter.

This could perhaps even improve something in the company, because: “A customer who complains is still interested in the product or service. But if you take the complainer's anger personally and imitate his bad mood, you can Conversation none positive give more twist. The opportunity remains unused,” says Baum.

In the end, only serenity helps

But what to do if the prospective buyer decides to drop out despite all efforts? Actually, only calmness helps. An entrepreneur can just as well do without complaining customers with exaggerated demands; the time he wastes with such troublemakers, a shrewd businessman should prefer investto attract new customers.

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