The fashion world is a mercurial one where you need to understand people’s desires well before you recommend any products. I’ve just worked with a team of very savvy retail salespeople who represent high end jeans and other upscale garments. Their clients are Buyers and the actual designers. It is essential with jaded Buyers (clients) to control each meeting.
An agenda, often an overlooked or thought-of-at-the-last-minute too, can put you in control and help gain you the results you want. Get agreement on the agenda. This puts you in control of the meeting and avoids the “meet-the-press”/”firing line” environment that so many meetings turn into.
Negative or jaded Buyers/clients are that way often because they have assumed how the meeting will go before the meeting actually happens. You need to bifurcate the meeting by selling the agenda to them. Immediately after that, begin asking them three to four open-ended questions that draws out their misconception of what is possible with the meeting. Drawing out their needs is mission critical to neutralizing them and then in turn, re-contextualizing the purpose and outcome of the meeting. Once you have uncovered their misperceptions you can then be straight with them and declare your intention for the meeting and request their alignemnt on it. Now you are really in control with the best of intentions.
Essentially, I am recommending that you re-calibrate the meeting to control it. Try these techniques out and let me know what results you produce.