how do you all go about turning down customers that you get a gut feeling may be a problem to deal with, whether it be payment, delays, poor coordination or people that you don't really feel comfortable with doing electrical work for because they just seem too ignorant or reckless.
do you tell them "i'm not interested in the project, it seems like it might be a pain." do you lie and say "i'll get back to you on this" or something like that and not get back to them? or something better
How about just being 'too busy' to be able to take the job? That way you leave the door open if you ever want to work with them in the future...and eliminate the chance that you'll get a bad rep on social media.
When my wife was in the HVAC business a very important skill was just being able to just say "no". Taking on a job that you know you are going to lose money on is bad business. "We are not going to be able to do your job right now" is perfectly acceptable but you can always just price yourself out of the job. If you make the price high enough, it still might be worth doing but make that a big number.
"thank you for the consideration but i'm not interested in the project"
if they ask why
"the condition of the property concerns me, and the access to do the work is going to increase the price drastically and i don't think you will be happy with the end price, which means i won't be satisfied with my work, i would only consider that type of work for long-time existing customers." or " i get the feeling we might not get along" or " i only take problem work like this for long-time existing customers" or "i think to do this right would cost more than most people would want to pay and i like for my customers to feel like they got a deal and i wouldn't be able to do that on this job."
I wouldn't use any of those because the day may come when you need his job to get thru a lean time...or need him to not say mean things about you to other potential customers. I generally like to give them the impression that I would love to take on their job...but circumstances beyond my control won't allow it.
Remember - Salesmanship is all about telling someone to go to hell in a way that makes them look forward to the trip.
The safest thing is just to price yourself out of competition and be sure that even if they bite, the price is high enough for you to make enough money to make it worthwhile. These kind of jobs always come with "risk" and that is the part of a contract that too many people do not price out properly.