4 Times It’s Okay to Tell Your Client “No”

4 Times It’s Okay to Tell Your Client “No”

Whether you work for an agency or as a freelance developer, telling a client “no” can be awkward or even risky. However, the old adage that “the customer is always right” isn’t true in every case.

In fact, sometimes saying “no” is a necessity. Fortunately, if you turn clients down respectfully and explain your reasoning, these potentially difficult interactions can end up strengthening rather than harming your relationships.

In this post, we’ll discuss four times when it’s best for you to tell a client “no”. Then we’ll give you some pointers to help you handle those conversations effectively. Let’s get started!

1. Fulfilling Your Client’s Request Would Harm You in Some Way

As a web developer, it’s unlikely that a client will ever make a request that could put you in physical harm. However, there are times when they may ask something of you that would negatively impact your mental or financial well-being.

For those in professions that place a lot of demands on their time, burnout is a serious concern. Web developers tend to work long hours to meet version releases and other deadlines. Plus, if you’re a freelancer with an unpredictable income, you’re more likely to feel stressed about your job. These realities can make web developers particularly susceptible to burnout, depression, and anxiety.

Clients can definitely add to your stress, and put a strain on your mental health. If a client is demanding that you put in more time than you’re able to without experiencing a mental breakdown, it’s best to discuss alternative solutions with them. For example, you might ask them to extend their deadline, or offer to pass the project off to another developer.

Similarly, if a client is demanding large chunks of your time, you’ll have less availability for other projects. If meeting a

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Tom Rankin

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4 Times It’s Okay to Tell Your Client “No”

by Tom Rankin time to read: 1 min