How to Say No to a Dream Customer | Free Scripts for Business Owners

saying no to client inquiries

One of the best things you can do for your business is say no to clients who are a bad fit. Saying no to a bad fit clears not only mental space, but literal calendar space so you can say YES to the jobs that are a good fit – and in turn, deepen your creative expertise and the work you want to be known for.

Saying no to a bad fit is easy

Here’s a script you can use to say no to the kind of inquiry that raises all the red flags for you:

Hi _______ [potential client],
Your company sounds really [use a nice adjective here], but unfortunately I don’t think [my company / services / etc.] is a good fit for your project. We typically best help [describe your dream customer here] with [describe your typical offering or service here].

You might check out _______ [resource or friend] – they may be able to help you with what you need.

Thanks!

Saying no by still describing what you do can actually get you the work you want. We’ve used this exact script to say no only to have the rejected potential client send someone who IS a good fit our way.

saying no to clients who can't afford you

Saying no to the dream client who can’t afford you is a little trickier

This is harder because you know the project has the potential to be perfect – but keep in mind that if you say yes, you could potentially regret it down the road when you’re not being compensated for all your hard work. Because even the coolest projects are still work … and worthy of compensation.

Here is a script you can use to say no to a potential dream client who can’t afford you:

Hi _______ [potential client],
Your company sounds really cool, and I think what [my company] offers is a great fit for what you need, but I totally get it that our services are out of your price range.

If you’re still interested in our work, you might check out my more affordable [or even free!] _______ [ecourse / ebook / digital product / blog posts / podcast / newsletter].

And if you find that your budget changes in the future, we would love to work with you in a one-on-one engagement.

Thanks!

Saying no to the dream client who wants what you don’t offer

As a creative entrepreneur, you’re probably resourceful and really great at figuring it out as you go. So when a dream client asks you to do something you can technically do (or figure out how to do) but don’t want to do, it can be really hard to say no. But just because you can do it all doesn’t mean you should. That would only distract you from what you’re best at and what you really want to be known for. When you say no to this kind of dream customer, be sure to let them know what we’re best at – they may just hire you for your expertise anyway!

Here’s a script for saying no to the dream client who wants what you don’t offer:

Hi _______ [potential client],
Your company sounds really cool, but unfortunately I don’t think [my company] is a good fit for your project. We typically best help [dream customer description] with [your services or offering]. So if you ever find yourself needing [examples of deliverables you do offer], I’m your person.

Otherwise, you might check out _______ [resource or friend] – they may be able to help you with what you need.

Thanks!

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What Is Your Client Saying About You? | Braid Creative & Consulting