i ask what would make him like it
Although there is no client, it will redo, if it says.
I ask what exactly they don't like
Go back to the drawing board, it doesn't happen much if you get a good breifing
I haven't got that yet, but to be honest, I'd say: "I expect that you looked at my website and saw what I do."
and then: "If you log onto the illustratorsclub.org website, I'm sure you'll be able to find a regional illustrator that suits your needs."
If it is a large assignment, I would get something like this in the early stages, and endeavor to fix it.
Sometimes, clients make a point of being difficult to work with and regrettably, for myself and them, I've had to let them go.
I ask for more positive feedback or at least a hint of what they don't like about it and why
Ask them why. Even if someone can't pinpoint exactly what they dislike, by asking open questions and listening carefully you can get a feel for what it is they're after.
It's never happened! (yet!)
I ask more details of what they would like, and then give my opinion on what would work for the project.
Then I'll make new sketches and/or concepts and see what they'll say next.
I ask my client what it is they don't like and what they think I should do to fix it. Oftentimes a second opinion will notice flaws that I missed.
Try to talk to them and see what what they are thinking of. Ask them to maybe give me reference pictures as inspiration.
Sometimes they have to much of a finished picture of what the final work should look like, and in that case, it is really better if they tried to do it themselves. I do my style, and it is really the only thing I can do good, so in those cases (which are luckily few) we have canceled the cooperation.
Turn the page and start over.