Well, Ryan Estis, writing on his own blogsite at ryanestis.com, needs to broaden his horizons a bit.
Yes, it occasionally makes sense to say no to a customer, but:
1. Not just in the service or consulting space, which seems to be the area Ryan is addressing;
2. In a retail setting, where you might not have the stock, or have the exact model that the customer is looking for. Referrals, even to your competitors, are a good idea. Maybe you can serve the customer another day.
3. Sometimes, you can’t customize your product or service enough to get into the excellence range that the customer wants. Better to be upfront with them. Again, refer to a competitor you trust, or take the idea back to product/service development.
4. None of this has anything to do with core competencies or strategy….there are lots of times that entirely new directions for products or services were found as a result of customization. Is that customer telling you something that you SHOULD be doing?
Anyway, someone send this blog to Ryan, or maybe he’ll weigh in on the ‘comments’ section.