Seven Polite Ways To Say 'No' Via Email
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Seven Polite Ways To Say 'No' Via Email

Saying “no” via email can be a daunting task for some entrepreneurs. Sometimes your schedule is too busy to draft a politically correct response, so the email just sits in your drafts in hopes that the person will get the hint and never reply to you again. No worries, we will make the task easier. Here are seven go-to responses when you want to say “no” politely.

When Rejecting an Invite

Your startup is starting to take flight and your inbox is being flooded with invites to business events, speaking engagements, and workshops. Some of them are a fit and others are not. How do you reject those invites? Here’s a template to follow:

Hello (Insert Name),

I appreciate the invite to (Insert event name). Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend. Thank you for extending the invitation.

I look forward to hearing from you in the future.

Thanks,

(Your Name)

Rescheduling Or Turning Down a Meeting

Things come up, which sometimes involves canceling or rescheduling a meeting. This is completely okay. Try to simply communicate and reschedule for another time that works for both parties.

Hello (Insert Name),

Thanks for reaching out to set up a meeting with me. Unfortunately, I am overbooked and cannot meet on the proposed date. Please let me know your future availability to reschedule.

Thank you,

(Your Name)

Rejecting a Project From Your Boss

This can be difficult for some freelancers and contract workers because you don’t want to seem incompetent. It’s okay, calm down and freely communicate to let them know you have a lot on your plate. They will appreciate your transparency and your dedication to producing quality work instead of rushing for the sake of completion. Here is a sample template you can follow:

Hello (Insert Name),

Thank you for considering me for (Project Name). I would enjoy working on it, however, based on our last conversation my top priorities are:

(List assignment #1 and due date)

(List assignment #2 and due date )

I want to continue to provide quality and timely work, so is there a possibility that we can push back the due date?

Thank you,

(Your Name)

Ending a Relationship With a Vendor

This can be a tough email to send, but sometimes it is necessary to end a business relationship. Instead of saying “Hey, I don’t want to work with you anymore.” Follow the template below instead:

Hello (Vendor Name),

I’ve enjoyed our time working together and I appreciate all of your help. Unfortunately, we’ve decided to take a different route. I hope we can work together on future projects that are a better fit.

Thank you,

(Your Name)

Saying “No” To a Customer

Sometimes customers can be difficult to navigate, so when saying “no” to a customer, use the alternate position technique. It goes something like this:

Hello (Customer Name),

I understand (Insert problem here), and I do apologize. I have an amazing solution that I would like to present for your consideration (Insert solution here). Please let me know if you have any other concerns.

Thank you,

(Your Name and Title)

When Someone Wants a Service For Free

Small business owners run into this problem frequently, usually from family and close friends. Here is how to say “no” to providing free services without ruining your relationships.

Hello (Insert Name),

As much as I would love to help you out and (Insert service here). I can’t afford to do any pro bono work right now.

Thanks for understanding.

(Your Name)

When Asked To Donate Money

Of course, you would love to give to charity or donate to a noble cause, but sometimes you just don’t have it. This shouldn’t stop you from sending a response email. Here is a template that leaves the door open to donate in the future:

Hello (Charity Name),

I admire your efforts for fundraising for such an awesome cause! Right now, we are not in the position to donate, but please provide us with information on how to donate, so we can contribute in the future.

Best of luck,

(Your Name and Title)