Of construction, real estate and people

by Rémi Letourneau

Sometimes saying no to a potential customer is like saying yes to yourself…

Professional portrait of Luc Létourneau with a laptop.
There was a tough time recently when I had to say no to a client for a $3 million project for a clinic, even though I still had some availability in my backlog. Making this decision was not easy, but I did it for several important reasons.

My decision to refuse this project in no way reflects a disagreement with the client himself...

What did not convince me was the tender-based approach. We have always avoided bidding in the public sector, as these processes require contractors to strictly adhere to plan specifications and submit a price. In these cases, the cheapest offer is generally selected.
Although this client is from the private sector, the same approach was used. We have tried to win contracts in this way before, but we found that it happened very rarely and, when we got them, the profitability was not there. This mode of operation may be suitable for some people, and it is completely acceptable.
However, our value lies in the approach we offer. We want to advise our clients, guide them, reflect with them, understand their challenges and offer them appropriate solutions. For this, we must know them in depth in order to build according to their requirements, their challenges and their desires.
This is why it is crucial for us to actively participate in discussions with agents, architects and designers.
We need to think and brainstorm together so that we can explore different solutions. We want to soak up the DNA of our customers. Working as a team is essential for us in order to create success. Working in isolation and receiving 100 pages of plans and specifications to submit is not our approach. Our attention must be focused where we have a real chance of succeeding!
This is why I made the decision to say no and focus on clients who need our approach and our expertise. Let’s not forget that it’s not the number that matters, but focusing on what really matters. It is essential to put our energy where we have a real opportunity for success.
By refusing this project, I can now devote myself fully to the clients who will benefit from our offer and our expertise!
Remember, it’s not quantity that counts, it’s quality and focusing on the right opportunities!

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