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Business Tips : Client Relations

How do you handle a client's rejection?

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"I'm sorry, but I'm going with another vendor. Thanks though."

You have tried, you have waited, and now you are rejected. The line above may sound familiar to many wedding vendors who are looking forward to booking a new client. Now, what should you do after being turned down by a client?

First of all, you need to know the 2 types of 'no': one that implies "ok, try convincing me again" and another one that simply means "sorry, you're not the one". Observe the situation and use your good judgement to determine which kind of rejection a potential client just showed you. Let's explore the difference between the two 'NOs' and how to act upon each of them.

'No, it's not satisfying'
Sometimes you know your potential clients are still interested in your service, and yet they still said 'no'. This is largely because they want you to convince them again. Sometimes what they want could be a lower price, more extras, or your painstaking attention to the little details (yes, they are just as important!). So, come up with something more satisfying than what you offered in the first place and make sure you act accordingly to win them at this 'second chance'.

  • Ask why
    Perhaps they do not agree with some of the designs you proposed, so it's time for you to draft some detailed questions to confirm their preferences. If you think calling them makes you look pushy, send an email to ask for their feedback and offer to set up another appointment so you can immediately note all changes on your original proposal. Don't forget to redo your proposal exactly how they want it and let them see it again. Ensure them that they are the ultimate decision makers, however you should intellectually say your piece and explain the values of your choices.
  • Provide affordable substitutes
    As it turns out, your pricing is the problem. Ha! When pricing is the concern, we know it can be difficult to give the same service at a discounted price, for example it's difficult to make a 4-tier wedding cake at the price of a 3-tier cake. However, try presenting an affordable substitute such as less laborious cake design or a more basic flavour if your potential clients insist on keeping their preference. Be flexible and don't put on a tug-of-war because you're trying to re-convince them!

'No, I don't want you'
Hearing 'no' can be dreadful, however there are times when it might be better to leave it at that. Instead of dwelling on it, reflect upon the situation to find the cause of their rejection - are they your ideal clients? Is your team making them feel comfortable? Do you have the right business strategy?

  • Maybe they are not meant to be
    Maybe they weren't serious from the beginning, or maybe they are simply not suited for your business. Regardless, do a quick client profiling by asking two questions:
    1) Do they fit your ideal client profile?
    2) Do their budget, request, and timeline fit yours?
    Don't ever force yourself to take a client you won't enjoy assisting later. After all, when you're happy doing your job, your client will be too.
  • Prepare your team
    Your business is only as good as your team. When your team share the same kind of passion and drive as you, it result in potential clients feeling comfortable leaving their wedding in your hands.
  • Modify your business strategy
    It's possible that you've been running the business with a wrong strategy. Re-assess the way you position your business in the market (think about your own skill, specialty, marketing efforts, and pricing) and make sure you are targeting the right group of people for your service. Don't be greedy or over promising because clients will easily notice it and so you end up receiving rejection frequently.

The thing is, rejection is unavoidable. It is expected in businesses as on average clients like to decline a proposal or idea 4 times before they said yes. You will feel disappointed, but there are ways you to get over it. Take a look at these tips on handling rejection:

  • Don't ignore rejection. Yes, you will feel disappointed and it's fine to feel this way. Take time to figure out what went wrong.
  • Don't take it personally. Don't take it to heart! You can't please everybody, just remember there are always other people to work with and so you need to up your game!
  • Don't fret! Don't view rejection as a shortcoming, take it as a lesson for improvement when facing future prospects.
  • Look for new ideas. If what you proposed wasn't what the client was looking for, find more inspirations to keep up with the trend. Trends change frequently, so keep discovering more ideas!
  • Persevere. Don't give in to failure, keep learning and you'll get the hang of it. Perseverance is key.

Have you ever been rejected by your clients? We know it can be dispiriting, because rejection brings a negative effect to our mind and performance. However, stay optimistic and you can get over it!

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