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Thread: What are your methods for saying "No" to people without offending?

  1. #1

    Default What are your methods for saying "No" to people without offending?

    I've been getting a lot of requests lately to do some absurd things, like "please make me a website" or "please use my referral link to get referrals" or even "please give me money". These people are fans of my website and they actively share my stuff in social media (some of them I even recognize by first name already), but of course I can't do some of these things.

    So what are your methods for saying "No" to your followers without seeming rude, offensive, or doing anything that would cause you to lose a fan?

    Maybe this is a silly question, but as much as I hate to admit this, I have always been a pushover. I actually end up ignoring some of these emails instead of responding to them, which is never good.
    Last edited by Jay; 02-19-2014 at 09:01 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    67

    Default

    i think there should be different answers for these questions

    1. please make me a website

    Ans. I am busy in other stuff cant make it.

    2. please use my referral link to get referrals

    Ans. I am getting lot referral requests but cant use all the links so i have to say No.

    3. please give me money

    Ans. I don't have money either.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    15,149

    Default

    Jay this is a great question. You and I probably attract the same kind of visitors so I can relate.

    Some requests are just downright ridiculous. For example I am not going to waste my time responding to someone asking for a handout like "Will you link to my site for free?" or "Can you send me money?" Those are simply ridiculous requests that are wasting your time to answer.

    But if someone has a reasonable request, I find that honesty is the best policy. You can even use "no" and turn it around to something promotional or positive. For example, a new member just signed up here yesterday because she had emailed me and asked for a site review.

    I told her that I am sorry I don't have time to review her site, but if she becomes a member here she can get reviews from other members. A few hours later she joined. So if you can somehow turn the reasonable requests into something that benefits both parties it's a win-win.

    For example, if you feel that you must reply to the "send me some money requests", you can tactfully reply and say something like, "I hope this doesn't sound rude, but I've had to work very hard to generate this income and if you'd like to learn, make sure you join my email list so you don't miss any of my tips."

    This is a no-lose situation. If they join, you've got a potential lifetime visitor and future buyer. If they don't, no skin off your back. People who often ask for handouts are the last to purchase anything so many of them may never subscribe because they want a quick fix. It may not be the kind of subscriber you want anyway.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    190

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    I am not going to waste my time responding to someone asking for a handout like "Will you link to my site for free?" or "Can you send me money?" Those are simply ridiculous requests that are wasting your time to answer.
    I am %100 with Lisa on that one.

    What you need to do is replay with a nice "NO" message to people who are asking a reasonable questions, like can I get your review on my website? If you don't have time, like Lisa said, just tell them the truth, like: "Thank you for your trust in my professional website review, but I am sorry to inform you that I don't have the time to review it" and provide some links that will help.
    Be the change you want to see in the world

  5. #5

    Default

    I have a bad habit of not replying to threads I create.

    Thank you everyone for the suggestions! I've managed to turn a somewhat beggy person into a customer with these tips.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    22

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    I tell people i still owe my mom money or my mom's church a website, or whatever they want one of. Until i can get to that, i can't get to you, mon.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    15,149

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay View Post
    I have a bad habit of not replying to threads I create.

    Thank you everyone for the suggestions! I've managed to turn a somewhat beggy person into a customer with these tips.
    Thumbs up to that!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    (Down to) Earth - for sure!
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    As you scale up your site, it may be a good idea to start a forum. No need to buy another domain, just start one at forum.yourdomain.com. Direct all queries and requests to the forum where it can be seen by all members; you will have members who will respond to threads and you can spend a few minutes each day providing value in the forum. This way you can keep everyone(well most people) happy while having a captive audience for your content. Best of all you will never have to say "NO"!

    You can get some good free Forum scripts; it's not too difficult to set up.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Alexandria, MN USA
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    It is extremely easy to say, "No."

    The only reason we usually THINK it is hard is because we have bought into the idea that we have to tell people why we cannot do something. As a born "people pleaser" I used to be plagued with this problem myself until I learned how to say "No" without giving a reason.

    Generally, I have found that just saying "No" works quite well:
    "Do you want to go to town this afternoon?"
    "No, not today."

    If someone press with a "Why not?" I may say,"I have other plans," or if pushed, "I'm sorry, that's a private matter I really can't discuss," but I avoid to tell exactly what plans or commitments I have.

    Even if people press for a reason, once you realize that you do not owe anyone an explanation for your choices it helps.

    Over time I have learned how to answer some people in ways that avoid their unreasonable demand for an excuse while seeming to do so to some extent.

    "Thanks for asking. I wish I had more time for things like that."
    "Thanks for asking, but my funds are all committed right now."
    Good Success!

    Website: Success With Money
    "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." —Maya Angelou

  10. #10

    Default

    This could be a good topic for blog, dont you think?

    There is no luck except where there is discipline | 12BET
    - Irish Proverb

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Australia
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    388

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay View Post
    I have a bad habit of not replying to threads I create.

    Thank you everyone for the suggestions! I've managed to turn a somewhat beggy person into a customer with these tips.
    Glad you sorted it out. I was going to reply with "just say no" but I decided that wouldn't be very helpful for you. If it was me I'd probably have sent them a rude reply before thinking. One of my biggest weaknesses is I can be very tactless at times.
    I don't check the forum regularly anymore, but we can still chat on Twitter.

  12. #12
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    Apr 2007
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    15,149

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    Quote Originally Posted by carlo View Post
    Glad you sorted it out. I was going to reply with "just say no" but I decided that wouldn't be very helpful for you. If it was me I'd probably have sent them a rude reply before thinking. One of my biggest weaknesses is I can be very tactless at times.
    LOL, well the way people approach you on the web can definitely push your patience. Trust me! I know.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Ilkeston, Derbyshire, England
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    I have to chime in here and say the one word that will double your income is "no". I constantly get phone calls from people wanting me to do them favours, create websites, give them free advice. Once I say "It's X amount per hour" their tone changes and they usually ring off.

    People can be shocked when you refuse to do something for them, particularly because I advertise as a business and therefore they expect me to do the work no matter what. I am very selective about who I help if I don't already know them. When someone asks me for my help I put myself in the frame of mind where I am actually interviewing them and deciding if they are worth investing in.

    In the past I have made the mistake of taking on poor quality clients, and those clients have referred their equally poor quality associates/acquaintances to my detriment. You mustn't entertain ridiculous requests because it will only damage your reputation.
    Last edited by Darren; 02-27-2014 at 05:33 PM. Reason: Grammar

  14. #14
    Join Date
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    Alexandria, MN USA
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    Default Great post Darren, and outstanding thinking.

    Perhaps all of us, but especially those new online workers, should copy Darren's post, print it out and pin it up in their office or some other prominent place where they can read it often until it really soaks in! It is relevant to any kind of business, not just working online. One of the most restricting factors in business success is in not controlling your own life.

    One of my favorite lines is, "Thanks for asking, but I do not have time for that right now." I have long lists of work that I would like to do so this is always true if what some asks is not important enough to me to replace the top things on my list, so I am not being at all dishonest to reply to a request of almost any kind with this answer.

    A very similar problem, in that it also grows out of a misguided feeling of a need to satisfy others or make money when things are tight, is to under price your work. Isn't it strange that so many people who hesitate to tell someone they charge $20 an hour readily accept and pay an electrician, plumber or garage door opener repair person $75 or $80 dollars an hour without giving it a thought.

    There is an old saying (us old people know lots of old sayings): "Your attitude determines your altitude."
    Good Success!

    Website: Success With Money
    "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." —Maya Angelou

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Thanks James for your response, and actually that last quote you wrote there sounds like a Brian Tracy quote (I listen to him a lot on my mp3 player).

    The other thing I forgot to say is that make sure other people are aware of the value your put on your own time. You may charge by the hour but you must always measure your time in minutes if you want people to take you seriously.

    Can I take the opportunity to recommend the author, speaker and business consultant Brian Tracy once more for emphasis? His work is outstanding and I recommend him to anyone I believe is earnest in their pursuits.

    It sounds excessive but I recommend listening to motivational/positive audiobook material daily, for several hours, particularly in the mornings. The first hour upon waking (to use a nautical analogy) is the "rudder of the day", so educate yourself and you'll probably find that these nuisance issues we have been discussing in this thread actually become less and less because of your overall attitude.

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