How to Say "No" to a Client

Dear Mixonian,

I’m at my wit’s end. My clients tell me to jump, and I ask them how high, and so they keep demanding more and more from me. My boss tells me it’s not his problem, but mine.

Here’s an example. One client wants me to visit their office (again) across the country. I was just there a couple of weeks ago and now they want me to return this week. What I can tell them? It’s my job to keep the clients happy.

Desperate,
Ms. On The Ball

Dear Ms. On The Ball,

Mixonian is pleased with your desire to give your client such personal service. That is truly commendable and it’s no wonder they want more from you.

You may recall that your mother once told you in certain situations the best strategy is to play hard to get. The same is true for customer relations. You take care of them, but you take care of yourself as well.

Putting off your visit by a week probably won’t cause the company to go bankrupt.

Each morning and evening, right after brushing your teeth, do this exercise. With careful enunciation, say “no.” Repeat at least five times.

Then, when Ms. Demanding Client demands your presence, you can say, “No, I can’t be there tomorrow, but I could be there in 10 days.” The client will respect you even more in the morning.

Sincerely,
Mixonian

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