As someone operating your own company, there are a number of reasons why you may wish to turn down business from a client. Perhaps you’re in the middle of a busy period and you can’t stretch your team any further.
Maybe the project is unrealistic and you’re concerned about tarnishing your business’s good name. Or, you simply find the character of the client challenging and you’d instead not work with them.
Whatever your reason for turning down the business, there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about doing this. Here, Quality Company Formations look at the right way to turn down a client.
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But first, can you make it work for you?
If the deadline for delivery is too short, tell the prospective client that this is unrealistic and request that it be extended. If the project as a whole isn’t viable, tell the client why and detail what you can do instead.
If the personality of the client isn’t to your liking (they’re too pushy or are outright rude), is there someone within your management structure better suited to dealing with them?
Not all of your reasons for wanting to avoid the work can be negated, but as a business owner, you don’t want to regret the refusal further down the line, so if you can, talk with the client and see if you can come to an arrangement.
Still not workable? Here’s what you should do.
Let them know as soon as possible
If you know that you wish to refuse a particular job, do not sit on the offer and string the client along. As soon as you are certain that you will be turning down the work, let the client know.
Whatever your reasons are, it’s unfair to make the client wait. Be respectful of their time and give them a chance of achieving their goal with another provider. So notify them of your decision as soon as you have made it.
Be honest (within reason)
Typically, you should be as honest as possible when providing feedback on why the job isn’t right for you. This should be presented in a professional manner that offers genuine insight, that may be useful to help them find the service they are looking for.
However, if the problem leans more toward their personality, rather than the actual work, you should be diplomatic and state that you feel the opportunity is not right for your business at this specific time.
Deliver the rejection in the right way
Generally speaking, the two best ways to reject a business opportunity are over the phone or via email. If using the former, draft a script, kindly mapping out the reasons why you don’t wish to take on the job, as well as a few words dealing with potential questions that they may have. Then, make the call and stick to the script.
If you decide to deal with the matter over email, ensure it’s written in a professional and courteous manner, but don’t be afraid of being concise. The important information for them is that you’re not taking on the job, a quick synopsis of why, and an alternative solution for them (see below).
Refer them to someone else
Do you know of an alternative business that may be able to assist in providing the service? If you do, don’t be afraid of recommending them.
The business looking for the service will appreciate the referral, and the provider will be thankful for the opportunity and may repay the favour in the future.
Keep the door open
Whilst you should not offer false hope, if there is a genuine chance that you may be able to provide a solution in the future, let the client know this. This is particularly pertinent if the reason for the refusal is a current limitation within your business, such as a heavy workload or the general size of the project.
In instances such as this, ask the client if they would be happy for you to contact them within a set period of time, or mention that they should feel free to contact you again when they see fit.
Thanks for reading
So there you have it, the right way to turn down a client. It may go against every instinct you have as a business owner; however, there will be times when it’s best for all parties involved that you turn down work. We hope this post has been helpful in demonstrating the right way to go about doing this.
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