So the day has come that you don’t have the problem of finding clients, but only accepting the right clients?

Congrats friend, that’s a great problem to have!

Maybe they just want a small tweak to their site but you only take on full site builds.

Or maybe the client is asking for something that’s a littleee bit outside your area of expertise.

Or maybe you only have so many free web design spaces and want to make sure you fill them with only ideal clients that will help you build that niche portfolio to get the ideal client snowball building!

Or maybe, let’s be real it does sometimes happen, you just got off the phone with a potential client that raised all the red flags!

No matter the reason, it’s truly in both of your best interests to pass that client along if you think you taking on the project would be doing a disservice to either your business or their business.

So no matter the situation, let’s walk through how to gracefully say no to a potential Squarespace web design client.

Gracefully turning down a client:

Step 1: “It’s not you, it’s me”

The classic “it’s not you, it’s me” line is the best here.

You never want to say to a potential client “you’re not right for me, or I don’t want to work with you” because first off it’s just not kind, and second, you always want your business to give off a good impression to everyone it comes into contact with, people talk after all.

(And while that business might not be our ideal client, they may have friends or acquaintances who are, so you want to leave a positive impression everywhere you go!)

If you’re sending the turn down by email, here’s an idea of what to say:

“Hey *Name,*

Thank you so much for getting in touch about your project, I’m honored you chose to consider *name of your studio* for your website design!

In an effort to serve our clients best, we always give honest recommendations on if we feel our services are the best fit for what they’re looking for. I’m afraid this isn’t quite the right opportunity for my design studio, but not to worry, I’d be more than happy to point you in the right direction!

Step 2: Point in the right direction

From here it depends on if you know a specific designer that you think would be a great fit or if you’re just going to point them towards a directory of many designers you trust.

If you’re going to direct to a specific designer, CC them in the email and say something like . . .

I’d love for you to meet *designer name.* *Designer name* has just launched this and this website *provide links* for clients, so as you can tell, he/she has some amazing talent! I’ve worked with *designer name* in the past, so I trust him/her to take fabulous care of clients.

I’ll let you, *designer name,* take it away to start chatting about potentially working together!

If you’re going to point them to a directory of many designers, say something like . . .

There’s many fabulous designers over on the *name of directory* who would be a great fit for what you’re looking for!

Then sign off!

If you truly want to be of service to every person who crosses paths with your business, no matter if they end up becoming a client or not, I think the second step is so important!

We know our industry backwards and forwards. We know the designers we trust from speaking with them in Facebook groups and forums, seeing their work online over the years, and knowing their track record from chatting with others in the industry.

Your clients don’t know this however. They can struggle to sort through which designers have the skills and heart needed to serve them well, so your recommendation goes a long way.

Plus, you’re not leaving them all alone to start back at square one with Google, you’re giving them a point in the right direction, whether that be a specific designer or a directory of designers.

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How to gracefully say no to a potential Squarespace web design client