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How to Turn Down Projects Nicely

Turning down freelance projects which are not in line with your duties, objectives and dealing with hard clients can be nerve-racking. So how do you say it nicely without hurting the business relationship?

Is there such a way? It’s not your line of duty, their objectives are not in line with yours, dealing with hard clients. No matter what the reasons are, turning down a client’s project offer could be nerve-racking. You may be creative in thinking a lot of excuses but at the end of the day, you will have to face them directly. So how does one actually say or do it nicely without hurting the business relationship?

  1. Over price your quotation. This is a subtle way of letting them know that you are primadonna, the creme dela creme in the line of your profession. No…it is actually saying that you are talented but you only have two hands, unless you have talented feet too! But you should know how to project it properly: list all your credentials, responsibilities and what you can offer. This is very effective especially when a client upfront tells you that they don’t have budget for this but they’d like your work so much. Why should they do such a project in the first place if they don’t have the cut? Most companies today are like this, they want excellent works/highly skilled workers yet they can’t pay for what they’re worth. You should let them know that when they pay cheap, expect cheap work. If they bite, then great for you. Now you just need to learn how to love your work deeply.
  2. You have a filled up schedule. Ask them straightup if they can wait till next year or even forever for their slot, you’ll be putting them on the waitlist. LOL are you kidding me, you are not Brad Pitt. That is harsh, but it is actually saying that they are important to you as they keep your business, but still they’re in your heart because you are giving them a chance to work with you.
  3. Tell them right away that you don’t make rush works. Clients are raging to call you that they need the work tomorrow. Because of this you can’t even think about whether to take the job or not, and next thing you knew you’ve been hypnotized. All of a sudden you are already working on their project, in their office! This is actually one of their tricky tactics so be careful, you might get trapped. Ask them too if they are willing to sacrifice quality over delivery.
  4. Exaggerate your interest. This will make them feel that they are brilliant, they’re going to be celebs because of you. But later on, tell them you decline because you are not worthy enough to be included in the team. Someone better should take your place. It is also a good thing to refer another artist whom you think will easily fall to their trap. Oops, that is bad.
  5. Say no, thank you on-the-spot. They will appreciate your prompt reply. Didn’t you get it, that was a rush project so they’ll jump to the next best (or cheap) thang right away. You are not the only queen in the world!
  6. Just pray hard that nothing will get materialized. Well, that said it all if you can’t do anything about it. It is your destiny to be a slave, once in awhile!

Remember, it’s not always about you. Nothing personal. Business will always be…simply business.

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