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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2013
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    246

    Default How to turn down pushy potential client

    Hello everyone, I goofed up the other day when I met with a potential new client, and ended up scheduling her in for a lesson a couple if weeks from now. After thinking over it and mulling over it, have decided I would NOT like to have her as a client. Looking for ideas/what I can tell her at this point to poitely, but most definitely, that I cannot take her. Details:

    I spoke with her first on the phone, there were little things that she said that came off a bit rude, nothing huge. We agreed to meet at the barn for an initial visit, she asked if she could drop by that same day, I did not have time that day and told her so, so visit was scheduled for following morning. Later that same evening, she comes to the barn anyway and tried to interrupt a lesson. I was pretty blunt and told her I did not have time to chat and see you in the morning.

    At the visit, she openly criticized the rider whose lesson she had interrupted and also felt it necessary to tell me that the horse I had her on was too small for her, among other smaller little conversation bits that I felt indicated that we would probably would not get along. At best she wouldn't be fun to work with, at worst, she could be trouble, and I am not hurting for business enough to try to find a way. I spent the rest of the visit literally talking her out of riding with me, telling her I only had one potential lesson horse for her, I'm such small potatoes, she may outgrow my program shortly, yadda yadda yadda. She didn't take the hint and after a great deal of pushing on her part I regrettably scheduled her in for a lesson. Oh, at which point she asked if I could groom and tack up the horse for her, and didn't take my "nope, sorry" answer very well at all.

    Okay, so anything I can say to go back on my word? Thinking about saying that the lesson horse she would be riding has gotten too many lessons scheduled and I can't schedule her for more, or just being honest and telling her I am not comfortable taking her on and suggesting other barns who may (although she said she had been searching for a long time, so don't know how that would fly, plus I like all the oth trainers in my area too much to send them a possible bad client). Or, do one lesson with her and then try to find a good reason to give her at that point that it won't work?

    Lesson learned, help please?


    1 members found this post helpful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 24, 2008
    Posts
    1,035

    Default

    As suggested on the other thread with the bratty kid, lunge lesson with no reins and no stirrups.
    Dawn

    Patience and Consistency are Your Friends


    19 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 5, 2011
    Location
    On a horse.
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    395

    Default

    Perhaps tell her you made an error in your scheduling, and that at at this time you don't have any room for new clients: give her some suggestions for trainers you think might be a good fit. Then smile, shake hands, and walk away


    14 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 12, 2005
    Location
    Va
    Posts
    3,737

    Default

    Just tell her that after anaylyzing your past conversations you don't feel your program would be a good fit for her and suggest she go to a larger barn with "more opportunities"!


    14 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    17,742

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DancingFoalFarms View Post
    Perhaps tell her you made an error in your scheduling, and that at at this time you don't have any room for new clients: give her some suggestions for trainers you think might be a good fit. Then smile, shake hands, and walk away
    I think this is a very nice way to tell her, and the least likely to get a temper tantrum type response. Telling her you've reassessed conversations and that the two of you are not a good fit would be met with outrage in someone like this, I would think.

    But a simple "Totally my mistake, my scheduling does not allow for any additional clients right now, I'll be sure to reach out when I have an opening" is pretty benign and with you taking the "blame" there's not a whole lot of leverage for her.


    5 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr. 25, 2007
    Posts
    1,341

    Default

    This is not that big a deal and there is no reason to make up stuff or beat around the bush. Call her up and say that upon reflection that you don't feel your program is a good match for her, wish her well then say goodbye and hang up the phone. You don't need to justify yourself, argue or apologize, just dust off that backbone that God gave you and get it done. You will be relieved once you have gotten it done.


    19 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 12, 2009
    Posts
    59

    Default

    I would second (third) the option of just telling her the truth. She isn't a good fit. I run my own business and just had a very similar situation, and it worked surprisingly well and, I felt much better about myself after. I would not make up an excuse that puts you in a poor light, and if you tell the truth, no chance of getting tangled up in her pushing for when "your schedule opens up..." Good luck!


    2 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May. 23, 2002
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    2,195

    Default

    Been there and learned that little voice is usually right. Scheduling issues or personality fit what ever you choose but follow that hunch.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2011
    Location
    Pennsylvania
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    5,204

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    I'm all for telling her the truth -that you don't think your program is for her. I am lousy at reading people and find the most frustrating thing is people trying to be polite instead of just saying what's on their minds. I can't read polite. So I vote for truth.

    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).


    2 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 15, 2008
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    4,589

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ponyclubrocks View Post
    This is not that big a deal and there is no reason to make up stuff or beat around the bush. Call her up and say that upon reflection that you don't feel your program is a good match for her, wish her well then say goodbye and hang up the phone. You don't need to justify yourself, argue or apologize, just dust off that backbone that God gave you and get it done. You will be relieved once you have gotten it done.
    Absolutely.
    "Aye God, Woodrow..."


    1 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug. 10, 2010
    Location
    Western NY
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    1,705

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    Maybe it's because I'm old, but I would feel much better about, as kindly as possible, telling her the real reasons. Along the lines of, "I have to be honest, your showing up and interrupting the lesson just did not work for me. Also your expectation of me tacking up for you just doesn't fit with how I teach. It will be better for us both if we don't even start you with lessons here. Hope you can find an alternative".
    People will continue to be obnoxious as long as it works for them. Make it not work for her.


    14 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2010
    Location
    Westford, Massachusetts
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    Quote Originally Posted by minnie View Post
    Just tell her that after anaylyzing your past conversations you don't feel your program would be a good fit for her and suggest she go to a larger barn with "more opportunities"!
    Yep....an honest and direct approach is best. Otherwise, you could be fending her off indefinitely. Think of it as dating...it's nicer to the guy to just tell him it won't work out and you aren't interested than it is to make excuses about washing hair and leave him hanging .



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2011
    Location
    Westchester, NY
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    Am I the only one who thinks you should give her the option to take the already scheduled lesson but then not make anymore? Or call her and say you don't think your program is for her/you don't have time for another client/whatever but that if she wants you will of course honor the already scheduled lesson but don't have a place for her to schedule more.


    7 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2009
    Posts
    707

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rel6 View Post
    Am I the only one who thinks you should give her the option to take the already scheduled lesson but then not make anymore? Or call her and say you don't think your program is for her/you don't have time for another client/whatever but that if she wants you will of course honor the already scheduled lesson but don't have a place for her to schedule more.
    Yep. I think you should at least give her the lesson, since you've already scheduled it.


    5 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2012
    Location
    TN
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    561

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    Quote Originally Posted by minnie View Post
    you don't feel your program would be a good fit for her and suggest she go to a larger barn with "more opportunities"!
    I like this.... after you give her her lesson... If she's openly criticizing others, she probably thinks she is/ is a good rider and may be interested in taking advantage of the "opportunities" minnie speaks of!


    2 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan. 14, 2013
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    Hopefully at the barn
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    432

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rel6 View Post
    Am I the only one who thinks you should give her the option to take the already scheduled lesson but then not make anymore? Or call her and say you don't think your program is for her/you don't have time for another client/whatever but that if she wants you will of course honor the already scheduled lesson but don't have a place for her to schedule more.
    I second (third?) this. You already scheduled the lesson, so it is probably best to follow through with it- and, you could always do what Rizzodm said. Longe (lunge? I never can spell that...) lesson with no stirrups and no reins. On a very calm horse, of course, but still... (If the client is new to riding, you could just work at the walk)
    Tack Cleaning/All-Things-Tack nut
    ~DQ wanna-be~


    1 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2000
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    11,678

    Default

    Whatever you say, make sure to call her home phone when she will be at work.

    Leaving a message is a chicken's way out, but oh so much easier.
    "I used to have money, now I have horses."


    7 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2013
    Posts
    246

    Default

    Thanks all! I absolutely need a stiffer backbone, and tend to let people like this get away with what they like, hence lesson is scheduled and I'm not feeling great about it. I like the suggestions in here, to the point but not rude or unprofessional, and not getting in my own way trying to fib to avoid being upfront.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  19. #19
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    Feb. 1, 2013
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    246

    Default

    I'll have her clean a stall too . See how that would go over...!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan. 17, 2008
    Location
    Dutchess County, New York
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    4,211

    Default

    Well, I would not go ahead with the lesson, I'd say that after thinking it over it didn't seem like your program would be a good fit for her.

    I don't teach lessons, but I did turn away a prospective boarder who seemed a bit like your person. My potential boarder proceeded to tell me why it was such a big problem for her that I would not take her. If your person does this do not let this technique work! Her problem is not your problem.



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