It’s inevitable, one of these days you are going to have a customer request a quilting design that is above your skill level, won’t work for the quilt, or is just plain impossible. Handling those situations correctly is important. You don’t want to offend a potential customer or lose their business entirely.
Here are a few ways to say “no” nicely
1. Try Redirecting
Sometimes, it’s as easy as pointing them in a different direction. Try saying something like this:
“That would look nice, or I could……”
A real life example of this would be the time a customer asked me to quilt a large spiral starting at the center of the quilt. Something that isn’t impossible on a longarm, but I knew it wouldn’t be fun. So I said,
“The would look nice, or I could quilt some radiating lines from the center. It would really draw your eye towards the center of the quilt”
Thankfully, she ended up going with that option.
2. If that doesn’t work, try advising.
This is the time to let them know the drawbacks of the design.
“I could do that, but it would fall within my custom quilting rate”
“I could quilt a large spiral starting from the center of your quilt, but I am afraid it won’t look as smooth as you would like it. “
This can open up the conversation and can help you both come to a mutual agreement.
3. If you have to, say no….but offer an alternative option.
Sometimes it’s better to just say no. You know your skills and limitations, don’t be afraid to stick to them. It’s better to lose a customer now than to upset them later.
“I am so sorry, I don’t feel comfortable quilting a large swirl on the quilt. I know it won’t look as good as I want it to look. If you would like, I can try to find another quilter that would be willing to do that.”
“I’m sorry, I am not entirely comfortable with quilting that design and I would hate for you to not be happy with the quilting. Would you like some time to think about it and get back with me?”
No matter what the outcome, just make sure you are on the same page, it will save you a bunch of trouble in the long run.
What about you?
Saying no to a customer can be hard, but handling the situation carefully will help make sure that everyone is happy! What about you? Is there a time that you wish you would have said “no” to a customer?