In business, as in life, it is essential to know how to say “No” to different offers that may be presented to us. Nowadays, most of these requests are sent by email, mail, or fax to the company’s manager or whoever corresponds, so it is important to know how to respond to these commercial proposals.
The best method to reject such a proposal is by the same means3 of communication. For this, it is necessary to consider different aspects of responding cordially, although negatively, to these offers.
What is a business offer?
A business offer is a written file or email sent by a supplier to a potential customer to contract the services, products, or projects offered. This document contains different sales proposals for the potential customer, with offers, quotations, discounts, and benefits he would obtain by becoming a partner.
If you are not interested in the offer, it is important to respond to the mail, not only as a courtesy but also because your company may need them in the future.
Tips for politely declining a business offer
When writing a commercial offer rejection letter, you can include different reasons for declining the offer and provide opportunities or restrictions for future requests from the supplier.
One way to reject the offer and not come across as ungrateful, or feel guilty about the decision, is to apologize before you begin to list why the company has chosen to decline the proposal.
It costs nothing to say “I’m sorry” or “I regret to inform you that…” as this will show respect, empathy, and gratitude for considering your company for supplier projects. On the other hand, by starting the letter with an apology, the recipient already knows what’s coming up in the letter.
Get straight to the point
Emails, postcards, or faxes sent to respond to requests should be simple and precise, without beating around the bush, as the reply could be misinterpreted. In addition, a lengthy reply may give the impression that you are lying to get rid of the proposal, or they will take it as a doubt and will continue to insist that your company accepts and associates with the supplier.
If you don’t want the latter to happen, it’s best to get straight to the point. Just say you are not interested, thank them, and give a brief explanation as to why you are not interested. Being short is one of the most important characteristics a letter of this type should have.
Repeat your answer
Just in case, reiterate your refusal of the proposal. It never hurts to say “no” one more time if you have already done so in the beginning.
This is in case you think it is necessary because there are times when you need to be reiterative so that there is no doubt that the answer is a resounding “No”, but always remember to be polite because you never know if you may need their services in the future.
Resend the proposal
Replying to an email with a negative response may be challenging for the provider, especially if you are a new company without many customers. You will appreciate the help passing the word to other companies that might need your services.
In this way, the supplier will not see the negative response as a rejection but will take it as a possibility to keep growing by being known by new companies and help for them to achieve their goals.
Use a professional tone
As much as it hurts to say “no”, we must do it with a lot of kindness and respect since it would be useless to do it badly.
You should only maintain a professional tone, that is to say, be firm with your decision and your answer, since how you write is critical to understanding if it is a deep “no” or a “no” with the possibility of giving in to insistence. This is why you must be clear and concise.
Be clear in the rejection
When answering the letter, you must make clear your position and what your response will be. Clarify different situations and points, such as the reason for the refusal, and, if you prefer, ask them not to send you any more emails of this type.
Now that we have provided you with some tools to help you write your response, keep in mind that the length of your answer should be short. Just say that you are not interested, say thank you, and give the reasons for your decision.
Below, you can download examples of rejecting a business proposal by clicking on the following link.
How to write a business rejection letter
Writing a rejection letter may be easier than saying “No” in person or over the phone. However, it is still complicated to say “No”. These letters can be written in several ways, but one particular structure is used to reject an offer. Below, we list the steps to write a business rejection letter correctly.
It doesn’t matter how many different services or products the vendor offers if they are only helpful for what your company needs. It does not hurt to thank them for their time and preparing the proposal’s email. Rejection is never a good thing, especially for entrepreneurs and small companies, but appreciation can even generate trust, although the answer is negative.
2. Communicate the decision
After thanking them for the time and predisposition of the mail, give the news of your refusal of the proposal offered by the seller. It is essential to be polite and consider all the points and advice mentioned in the previous section. Try to respond as quickly as possible after receiving the mail, as they will be waiting for your response. It will also help the vendor to cross your company off the list and continue to insist on other companies. Remember to be firm with your decision.
3. Give explanations
Even though it is optional, you can add why the vendor’s service or product will not be hired. Adding these explanations will provide a concise answer without giving much spin. This will help the salesperson to understand the reason for your company’s rejection, and, on the other hand, you will make it clear that you do not want to be associated with their company.
4. Suggestions for the future
After clarifying why you declined the offer, you can share with the seller your suggestions for the future. For example, if the salesperson offers a service that does not have cash back, you can suggest that they start showing it since your company only works with partners that provide this option.
These suggestions will allow the vendor’s company to consider your position and start implementing, in this case, cashback. This may encourage the vendor and their company to contact you again when they have changed their policies to come back stronger and with more resources to meet your company’s needs.
5. Closing the email
The end of the email is significant to thank them for their time and demonstrate your company’s values. A cordial closing will help give a good impression of your company, even after you have rejected their offer. Endings can include a pleasant greeting, thank you, your full name, company name and job title, electronic signature, and contact information.
- “Writing a Letter of Regret Declining a Proposal Offer [Free Sample] – Request Letters.” Request Letters, 4 Feb. 2019, https://requestletters.com/home/writing-a-letter-of-regret-declining-a-proposal-offer.
- “How To Politely Decline (Guide with Examples).” LiveAgent, https://www.facebook.com/LiveAgent/, https://www.liveagent.com/academy/how-to-politely-decline/.
- “What Is a Business Proposal? A Simple Definition for Small Businesses.” FreshBooks, https://www.facebook.com/FreshBooks/?ref=br_rs, https://www.freshbooks.com/hub/estimates/business-proposal.