Win over sceptical clients with this advice for dealing with rejection from leading designers.

Picture this: the concept is sound – in fact it’s the best you’ve designed in a while. The team has invested copious research, insight and creative juices, and come up with a presentation that will envelop the client in a wave of enthusiasm and appreciation.

The deck is finessed, the sell is delivered with gusto and everyone looks up at the client in anticipation – only to find tumbleweed blowing, followed by a big fat ‘no’.

Illustration: Wijtze Valkema

Admittedly, this scenario is extreme. Everyone knows that good designers build relationships with clients based on trust and communication.

It’s important to create that trust from the start, to challenge a woolly brief and seek access and exchange throughout the design process, making a point-blank dismissal unlikely.

As James Kent, founding partner and executive creative director of Why, says, communication is 80 per cent of a designer’s job. A good designer needs to sell ideas, concepts and variations on a theme throughout the project, minimising the risk of outright rejection wherever possible.

However, the big fat ‘no’ can happen. If you’re faced with rejection, don’t panic. This is the point at which a designer’s mettle and communication skills come into their own.

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