How To Nicely Say “No” To Non Ideal Clients

How do I politely tell a non-ideal client that we are not a good fit?

I am asked so often how to answer this question that I thought it would be a good idea to address it in this article.

What you ultimately want to accomplish in this scenario is to be authentic, handle the situation with grace and set yourself up for a referral down the road.

Does this sound impossible?

It’s not and let me share with you how to make this a “win win” for everyone involved.

I tell the non ideal client the following:

I’ve been working for many years with lots of clients and I find that my happiest clients are those who immediately get excited about working on a project together.  For some reason I don’t feel that same level of excitement at this moment.

I suggest that in order to make you happy, you may want to speak to some other designers to help you decide what is most important to you and what kind of relationship you want to have with your designer.  When you take some time and meet with a few other designers – see if you can find that excitement and connection with one of them.

After doing so and if you decide that you still want to work with me then I would love to meet with you again.

By doing this you are showing your prospective client that you care about them and what is in their best interest.  Plus you aren’t spending additional time on working with someone who may never hire you or at the worst be a difficult client.

Often, the prospective client may not realize any of this but they will thank you down the road once they find the right fit. Knowing that you had their best interests at hand can lead to a referral.

So next time you find yourself talking to a non ideal client, keep this in mind. Don’t waste your (or their) precious time trying to be the perfect fit for a non ideal situation.

They’ll thank you for it!

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Gail Doby

Gail, with her team at Gail Doby Coaching and Consulting, has helped more than 10,000 designers in 76 countries. Many of them have achieved amazing results... doubling, tripling (and more) their revenue and profit... with clarity and confidence. Gail and her team build one-of-a-kind experiences, walking beside Interior Designers to help them create and implement their plans.
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