How to Say No to a Dream Customer | Free Scripts for Business Owners

saying no to client inquiries

One of the best things you can do for your business is say no to clients who are a bad fit. Saying no to a bad fit clears not only mental space, but literal calendar space so you can say YES to the jobs that are a good fit – and in turn, deepen your creative expertise and the work you want to be known for.

Saying no to a bad fit is easy

Here’s a script you can use to say no to the kind of inquiry that raises all the red flags for you:

Hi _______ [potential client],
Your company sounds really [use a nice adjective here], but unfortunately I don’t think [my company / services / etc.] is a good fit for your project. We typically best help [describe your dream customer here] with [describe your typical offering or service here].

You might check out _______ [resource or friend] – they may be able to help you with what you need.


Saying no by still describing what you do can actually get you the work you want. We’ve used this exact script to say no only to have the rejected potential client send someone who IS a good fit our way.

saying no to clients who can't afford you

Saying no to the dream client who can’t afford you is a little trickier

This is harder because you know the project has the potential to be perfect – but keep in mind that if you say yes, you could potentially regret it down the road when you’re not being compensated for all your hard work. Because even the coolest projects are still work … and worthy of compensation.

Here is a script you can use to say no to a potential dream client who can’t afford you:

Hi _______ [potential client],
Your company sounds really cool, and I think what [my company] offers is a great fit for what you need, but I totally get it that our services are out of your price range.

If you’re still interested in our work, you might check out my more affordable [or even free!] _______ [ecourse / ebook / digital product / blog posts / podcast / newsletter].

And if you find that your budget changes in the future, we would love to work with you in a one-on-one engagement.


Saying no to the dream client who wants what you don’t offer

As a creative entrepreneur, you’re probably resourceful and really great at figuring it out as you go. So when a dream client asks you to do something you can technically do (or figure out how to do) but don’t want to do, it can be really hard to say no. But just because you can do it all doesn’t mean you should. That would only distract you from what you’re best at and what you really want to be known for. When you say no to this kind of dream customer, be sure to let them know what we’re best at – they may just hire you for your expertise anyway!

Here’s a script for saying no to the dream client who wants what you don’t offer:

Hi _______ [potential client],
Your company sounds really cool, but unfortunately I don’t think [my company] is a good fit for your project. We typically best help [dream customer description] with [your services or offering]. So if you ever find yourself needing [examples of deliverables you do offer], I’m your person.

Otherwise, you might check out _______ [resource or friend] – they may be able to help you with what you need.


Want to dive in a little deeper? Download our free 7 Ways to Brand You and What You Do eBook:

DOWNLOAD THE FREE EBOOK for tips, exercises, scripts, and worksheets


What Is Your Client Saying About You? | Braid Creative & Consulting

your client's point of view

One of the best things you can do to attract more dream clients is to tap into how your existing or past clients talk to other people about you. You can learn a lot about your own brand by getting out of your own head and into the point-of-view of someone who loved working with you. How you talk about yourself will become a little more simple, less jargon-y, and more specific about what you do and how you deliver.

what does your client think about you

TRY THIS: Imagine that you’re working from a coffee shop. You have your back turned toward most of the coffee shop customers; you are laser-focused on your work until you overhear your name. You recognize the voice… it’s of one of your past clients! She’s telling a friend about what it was like to work with you. Don’t worry – it’s only good things:

  • I loved working with [your name]. I hired her to help me with _______.
  • [Your name] was amazing at ___________ and ____________.
  • You have got to hire [your name] to help you with _______________.
  • [Your name]’s style is kind of ______________ and _______________. But they’re never ever ____________________________.
  • I hired [your name] for ________ but was surprised when I left our engagement with __________________ and _________________.

As you’re filling in the blanks, be sure to use your customer’s words as if they’re actually describing to a close and trusted friend what it’s like to work with you. This exercise is going to help you get specific about how you deliver and position yourself to future dream clients—from your in-person conversations to your newsletter and sales page language and messaging.

P.S. We’re going to be sharing more on how to get more dream customers in our free branding mini-training this Friday.

communicating with dream clients

A recording will be available at the same link.


The Dream Client You've Never Had | Braid Creative & Consulting

finding dream clients

The number one question we get when talking about positioning and branding yourself to attract your dream client is: “But what if I don’t know who my dream client is?”

Whether you’re transitioning career paths, pivoting to try out a new offering or service, or entirely new to your creative career – you might not only be wondering “how do I get more clients?” but trying to figure out “who the heck is this client, exactly?”

how to find dream clients

So, I’m going to give you my best advice for identifying the dream client you’ve never had.

Before we dig in – I want to tell you that we’re going to be hosting a free mini-training where we’ll be deep-diving on getting more of the clients you want on Friday, March 31st. Save your spot here >>

who are your dream clients

To attract dream clients, you have to be clear about who you are and what you’re offering.
If you stumble over telling people what you do and are vague about what you deliver after they hire you, you will confuse any potential customers or worse… attract terrible fits. It’s important that you are able to articulate what you deliver and for whom – on your website, social media profiles, and in your content and conversations.

Who isn’t your dream client?
Sometimes it’s easier to identify what you want by getting clear about what you don’t want. So let’s begin by identifying who isn’t your dream client.

  • In my experience, my not-so-dreamy client usually asks me if I can do things that I don’t do – early in my career I was tempted to deliver more in order to close the deal. “Say yes, I’ll figure it out later!” was my go-getter mantra – (but afterwards it never left me feeling like the expert I wanted to be.)
  • They want me to convince them to hire me – every client likes to feel reassured they are making the right choice, but when a potential customer needs a lot of persuasion or asks me defensive questions, I see it as a red flag. I’d rather simply explain what I do, and if it’s a fit, they feel confident about hiring me without needing much convincing.
  • Working and communication style – there are smaller red flags that someone isn’t a dream client. It’s not always the case, but we’ve found when someone doesn’t like to work or communicate in our preferred methods, they’re not a dream client. These working and communication styles can be VERY nuanced and take trial and error to identify.

Now, if you really don’t know who your dream client isn’t, it might be a good idea to collect information as you go. Say yes more than you say no, and take note of what works and what doesn’t along the way.

identifying dream clients

Who do you already know that fits the profile?
Even if you’ve never worked with your dream client, you probably already know who they are. Write down a list of everybody you know (I recently read that we have the capacity to hold 150 names at any given time in our minds – so aim for 150). As you read through that list cross off anyone who is an instant “no.” For anyone that is left, begin asking yourself:

  • What does this person have questions about?
  • What is one thing that would make them feel really good?
  • What is their number one source of stress?
  • What podcasts are they listening to? What shows are they watching?
  • Where do they shop for groceries? Where do they buy clothes?
  • What do they value more than anything else?
  • What irritates them?
  • What inspires them?

It’s a lot of work, but once you begin to analyze the dream client you already know, you will begin to see common threads and make patterns out of what your potential dream client struggles with and what they desire. And the more you can speak to your dream clients’ exact stresses and desires, the more they will trust that you can really see them for who they are – and the more they will want to hire you to solve their problem, coach them to the next level, or buy your product that will deliver what they really need to know.

Now, write that person a helpful email (but publish it to your entire audience).
Once you know exactly who your dream client is, go ahead and write them an email. Read it out loud. Does it sound like something you would actually say to that specific person? And if you were to actually share this content with your dream customer, what kinds of follow-up or clarifying questions would they ask next?

how to work with dream clients

Be sure to include that next-level information in your email too – that’s where the secret sauce is. Now… publish this email as a blog post or newsletter that goes out to your entire list! It might feel too specific since you were just writing it to one person but – I promise – that’s the content that resonates with hundreds.

>> Free mini-training: GET THE DREAM CLIENTS YOU WANT<<
Join Tara & Kathleen for a live webinar on March 31st at 12PM central
Save your spot here
(A recording will be available at the same link you RSVP)



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