Turn down project

[Client Nightmare] 6 Dead Giveaways that Told Me to Say “No”

Obviously, I don’t do business with every potential client who contacts me.

Sometimes my fee is too high. Sometimes I don’t have time in my schedule. And… sometimes… I simply don’t want to do business with the person who contacted me.

Such is the case here.

I’ve reproduced our correspondence (with name removed) so you can see how the conversation developed. I’ve also listed six “red flags” that caused me to turn down this project.


how are you ?

im in a process of building a beauty product and i need help with contents for the packaging
and website

pls contact me ASAP


Thanks for getting in touch.

What is the beauty product?

What is the website URL?


tnx for the fast reply .

the product is a Beauty Device Massage for face .
i dont have a web. yet i built everything from scratch .
pls see attached .

i need write on the box some benefits and how to use it
and small sales contents about the product .

i can send more info about the product from other websites.

after we will finish it i need the contents for the website but we will do it step by step .
its my first time create a product so im doing it step by step to make sure im doing in right :-)

pls send me a quote how much it will cost me .


What’s your budget and deadline for this project?


i need it right a way !!
regarding the device product packaging : it very small project you can do it very fast
but i need you to tell me the price.

by the way this is only the start i need help with a lot of products that i will built and add on this
collection and website of corse !


Unfortunately, I don’t do rush jobs. I have prior commitments and deadlines.

Thanks anyway.


so when you can do it for me ?


I don’t think I’m interested in this project. Thanks anyway.


I don’t want you to this any way !


So why did I reply to this prospect the way I did?

First of all, I’ve got plenty of work at the moment and I don’t need a distraction from a pushy client.

Secondly, there were multiple glaring red flags in this prospect’s approach. Let me point them out to you.

1. He says this is his first product and doesn’t have a website yet. This tells me he’s new to selling online and that he may not know how to successfully sell his beauty product.

2. He needs the copy “asap.” Any new client who is asking for you to bend over backwards for him is probably going to be a problem client.

3. He refuses to provide an exact deadline. What does “asap” mean? Within 24 hours? Or when I finish all the projects I’m currently working on?

4. Poor spelling and communication skills. Clients who don’t communicate well are generally difficult to work with.

5. He tells me it is a small project that he thinks I can do fast. In other words, he does not understand or value what I do. He sees me as a low-level service provider that he can push around.

6. He tells me he’s got more work to send my way. This is a negotiation tactic to get me to reduce my fee. Furthermore, he thinks I don’t have enough work to do… that I’m just sitting around, twiddling my thumbs, waiting for him to give me work.

The funny thing is, this is not the first time I’ve had a potential client try to get the last word in when I told him no.

Remember this guy?

Anyway, ask smart questions before you say yes to a project. Say no when the project isn’t a good fit for you. And never, ever feel bad about turning down a potential client.

-Ryan M. Healy

FREE 9-Page Copywriting Check List

Is your copy as persuasive as it could be?
Get my 83-Point Copywriting Check List.
Free PDF download.

Click Here to Subscribe
Ryan Healy

Ryan Healy is a freelance copywriter, list manager, and the author of Speed Writing for Nonfiction Writers. Since 2002, he has worked with scores of clients, including Agora Financial, Lombardi Publishing, and Contrarian Profits. He writes a popular blog about copywriting, advertising, and business growth, has been featured in publications like Feed Front magazine, and has been published on sites like WordStream.com, SmallBizClub.com, and MarketingForSuccess.com.

Comments are closed