I Say 'No' Sometimes (GASP!!!) - And Yesterday That Got Me Fired.
Happy Thursday to all you fine folks!! Week going well so far?? I certainly hope so ... I would like a do-over for this week ... I have been sick for 7 days straight and it's KILLING ME ... oh, and yesterday I got fired from a project ... yeah, let's discuss:
One thing I take great pride in is my honesty with people. I don't kiss asses and I don't promise things I can't deliver. I say 'no' sometimes << crazy, right?? Some people can't handle that. There are people who expect a company they are paying to say 'yes' to everything they ask. This is not reality. If I say 'no' it's because it can't be done - at least from where I stand. I do say 'no' and I would rather do that than over promise and under deliver.
I work with Squarespace. I love Squarespace. Squarespace is the sh*t. I am a website designer ... I design using blank pages, a tiny bit of code here and there, and the design blocks that Squarespace provides. I use my 'editor's eye' and my search engine savvy brain to produce beautiful websites for my clients. Guess what: Squarespace and my skillset have a 'reality' and that reality has boundaries.
When I am working with a client and they ask for something that either can't be done or is beyond my set of 'bombass' skills I do one of three things:
- I give them other options. I explain that while Squarespace can't allow 'that' particular thing to happen I do have other ways of providing the same feeling 'like this' ... and we come up with a solution that makes my client comfy and cozy.
- I ask questions. I ask my client 'why' they want that to happen. Sometimes I am asked to do things that really won't matter to a website visitor ... like shave 5 pixels off the white space ... these tiny details really won't matter in the long run and before I spend a lot of unnecessary time fixing and tweaking I want to understand the reasons behind it. 9 times out of 10 my client and I come to an understanding and sometimes we tweak those tiny details and sometimes we don't.
- I say no. Sometimes things just 'can't happen' ... and shouldn't!! There are things I know about websites and the flow and the feel ... and if I am good at my job then I know when to say 'no' to things that my clients ask. I don't hammer it down on them ... but I do politely say 'we shouldn't do that and here's why' or 'Squarespace interfaces don't work like that and here's why' ...
I was fired yesterday from a project I worked my ass off on and had 90% completed - that the client loves and will use - all because I said 'no' to one of their demands. The website is done to their exact specifications of design, the images are all optimized, I taught them valuable blogging tricks that will make their blog even more successful ... the website was complete. They fired me because I couldn't make one thing happen ... because I said 'no' or offered other solutions ... because I offered up the idea that if they really need that to happen they could hire a Squarespace coder after my job was complete to try to write a block of code for them << THIS is why I was fired. THIS is why a website I completely designed and optimized won't hold my credit for the design. And guess what: I won't change a thing with my next client.
I will continue to tell the truth because it is in the best interest of all my clients that I am honest. I do zero favors to a client by not telling the whole truth - this is my forte! This is where I shine! I create beautiful spaces that wedding professionals flock to me for! I shoot from the hip and if you don't like it that's just fine by me.
Are you having trouble with this? Are you needing to say 'no' to a client who has crazy demands and you are afraid to? I get that ... it's not fun. But I feel like if you say 'yes' to something when you know you most likely can't make it happen the way your client wants it's just best to bite the bullet and swallow that pill ... say 'no' ... give other options ... ask questions to understand WHY they want that ... and maybe if you and your client are able to communicate the 'whys' you will be able to form a solution that everyone can live with :)
Bonus Post: Who are you taking business advice from? Are they the right people?? Check out this post I wrote about this topic!