One of the things that entrepreneurs learn in their ventures is that they must learn how to deal with objections. I can say from experience that it is very easy to get discouraged when the product or service we hope to impress upon others does quite the opposite of our intentions.

As a freelance artist, I tend to wonder if it is easier to take objections personally, because, at that point it isn’t so much about persevering in our efforts as it is taking a loss or starting from scratch. Still, objections are something that a contracted artist must overcome. It doesn’t matter how skilled or creative we are; we are bound to have our few clients whose creative tastes and expectations differ from our own.

Though I try hard to avoid this issue by interviewing and getting to know my clients before the start of a project, there have been very few times where creative expectations and outcomes just don’t line up. And in this, I have observed a very narrow range of how clients present objections, or flat rejection. Here is a short list of popular scenarios I collected from colleagues and my own experiences:

1 – MIA (missing-in-action) – The client receives the mockup(s) and is never heard from again, forfeiting the down-payment and right to a change-of-direction when presented in a contract

2 – client doesn’t respond for at least a couple weeks, apologizes for being “so busy”, and proceeds with a very diplomatic list of objections

3 – client responds with a friendly request to pay the “kill” fee with no explanation and no request for a change-of-direction

4 – client presents positives before negatives, hoping to ease the blow of their disappointment

Scenario #4 is obviously the most desirable way listed to receive a client’s objection. It presents both what a client likes and dislikes and helps us to proceed in a more desirable direction. But regardless of how a client presents objections, take comfort in knowing that you’re not alone. We artists all experience it and must receive all objections as opportunities for growth.

I’d be interested in knowing what experiences you’ve had with client objections. Please share your stories here.

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