Just Say No…PleaseI write proposals for potential clients all the time. 

Some you win, some you lose. 

While I don’t expect to “win them all”, what I do expect is the common decency of an answer regardless of the decision.

I mean, I take the time out of my busy day to meet with someone, brainstorm with them, give their situation my best thinking, write it down on paper and submit it.

Doesn’t it seem fair that after my investment of time and energy, the least the person can do is provide an answer, one way or the other?

I recently wrote a multi-page proposal for a woman who owns what is essentially a kids party place.  Had what I thought was a great meeting.   Submitted the proposal and then waited. 

And waited.

Loooong story short, after several follow-ups, letters, phone calls, emails, etc. I finally found out through a third party that she went in another direction.  Which is fine.  My question is this:  why is it so hard for some people to just say no?  “No, I’ve changed my mind.”  “No, I can’t afford it now.”  “No, I’m going with someone else?”  “No, I don’t like your shoes.”

I have one guy that strung me along for three months saying he wanted a new website.  Asked to meet with me twice.  I bet if I called him today he’d say “Oh, yes, I’m still interested.  Why don’t you come by and discuss it.”  Maybe he’s lonely  Maybe people are just uncomfortable handing out rejection.  So here are some tips to ease your conscience (or whatever it is):


  • Leave a message on my answering machine at odd hours
  • Drop a note in the milkbox on my front steps (Yes, we still get milk delivered)
  • Stick a note under my windshield wiper (I’ll be relieved it’s not a parking ticket)
  • Text me from your cell phone
  • Fax me
  • Send me a singing telegram

Would someone please explain to me why this is so difficult?

Because I have news for you.  A “no” is as good as a “yes” because a no let’s me move on to someone who will say yes.

If the answer is no, please, for the sake of all hard working sales people out there—just say it!

Then we can all get on with our lives!