Can you imagine saying no to a gift basket order? Perish the thought, right?

It would be wonderful to say yes to everyone who comes your way, but you’ll find that you cannot say yes every time.

This is true whether you’ve made gift baskets for a few days or several years.

Some people who want gift baskets test your abilities, and when that happens, you start to understand your own limitations.

You can’t imagine saying no to money, but saying yes to an order is not just about money. You have to draw parameters.

Here are two examples.

She wants something for nothing

One potential customer asked me to buy African violet plants in 100 individual pots for her sister’s upcoming wedding. The flower pots were to be placed on each reception table.

You’re thinking, “That’s not a gift basket order.” True. However, when you make gift baskets, you also become a gift solution specialist, a title I share at conferences where I speak and also with students in the Start Your Own Gift Basket Business class. You expand your talents outside of gift baskets to satisfy many gift needs.

Buying flowers for this person could have been part of that expansion, but here’s the kicker. She knew where the violets were sold, asked me to go there to buy them, and then I’d have to find a place to store live plants before the wedding.

Prepare to gasp.

The customer expected to pay me for the flowers and only the flowers – no transportation, no delivery, no standard markup, no extra cost of any kind. In other words, she thought her only payment to me was what I paid to the retailer.

Why would I agree to a sale that costs me money? I said no.

She’s not my customer

After my live appearance on CNBC talking to millions of viewers about gift baskets, a production worker asked me to make a birthday gift basket for a relative. He was to be 90 years old, and she wanted something special.

I returned to my studio and not only searched through my inventory but also considered some products at wholesale suppliers. I called the worker and described two options. She said no to both and asked me to try again.

The next day I provided her with two more options, and she declined those, too.

I understood and respected her decisions, and I also realized that I was not the person who would make that birthday basket. Before our final call, I researched two other gift basket retailers and recommended them when my final ideas were declined.

There was no reason for me to continue searching. I had to move on to satisfy true customers.

Why saying no is okay

It’s rewarding to be a gifted artist, creating gift baskets that people love to give and receive.

Your gift is also the ability to know when to say no. Some people make it hard for you. Some situations aren’t ideal, and that’s okay.

Challenges are also great. You say yes to some, and others are out of your league or simply not what you wish to do because of your own limitations.

I’ve said no to small orders as well as extraordinary opportunities, and I don’t regret anything. It’s all part of learning.

What gift basket making situation have you declined, and which have you fulfilled but wish you had declined?

Shirley George Frazier
In the gift basket world, all roads lead to Shirley George Frazier, the industry's reigning expert and international authority. Shirley is chief basketologist at Sweet Survival LLC and author of the industry's best-selling books, How to Start a Home-Based Gift Basket Business, The Gift Basket Design Book, and Marketing Strategies for the Home-Based Business. Shirley works with manufacturers and retailers to successfully add gift baskets to their current revenue streams. Shirley is also a frequent speaker at events and instructor of the popular online course, Start Your Own Gift Basket Business. Contact Shirley to speak at your event or call 973-279-2799 to schedule a consultation.

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