Nobody likes a â€œyes manâ€ unless they can actually follow through on everything they say yes to. This is rarely the case with designers.
Saying yes to anything that comes your way will quickly leave you overworked, missing deadlines, and worst of all…scope creep. Saying yes to every job that comes you way is one thing. Many designers early in their career have to. But, should you take on a little too much work, you can always outsource some it. Scope creep on the other hand isn’t that easy to get rid of. Once I clients knows they get what they ask for, a simple project can turn into a beast fast.
As you can see, saying no is just as important as being able to say yes. Saying no isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Saying know lets potential customers know that you value your time and commit yourself to projects once you say yes. The question is, can we say no, but still say yes?
Here are several ways to say â€œNoâ€ to clients:
This one is great because its lets you say yes, but on your own terms. Something to the effect of;
â€œYes, but Im in the middle of another project right now, can we start this in a week?â€
â€œYes, but fore we get started why don’t you take a week to look over this pre-design questionnaire and get it back to me then.â€
Both of these can work well for you in your client. It lets you say yes, but easily works around your schedule. Of course this type of â€œnoâ€ will only work if your schedule will allow it. Which brings me to our next â€œno.â€
Having a Schedule
If you don’t have time for a project, let the client know. If you tell a client yes, but in reality are already book for the next few weeks on a job, you will regret it. One of two things will most likely happen; you will mess up one of the two jobs or you will mess both of them up. Tell the client:
â€œI am in the middle of project right now and wont be done until after this date. If you don’t mind waiting that long, Id love to talk to you more about your project then.â€
This is kind of another way to say â€œnoâ€, but still say yes.
We have all had clients that ask for little things here and there that add up in no time. The best way to deal with these type of requests is to say no up front, but to be professional about it. I usually tend to the first small request without a problem, but anything after that I tell them;
â€œI’ll be happy to do that for you. However, that is out of the scope of the initial project. As such, this request will cost and additional $100. Would you like me to add it to your bill?â€