It comes out of the blue, a task that you’re unprepared sometimes unqualified to do. Even more, it can be a task you have neither the time nor the inclination to add to your workload, but the problem is the person asking is someone who’s opinion is valuable to you. You don’t want to offend or perhaps stop that person from asking the next time.
How do you say “no,” but leave the door open?
That’s a question that we learn to answer with experience. The answer starts with a strong self-knowledge – understanding what are your strengths and weaknesses are. Follow that assessment with an honest appraisal of work that you just don’t like doing Add that work you don’t like to the weakness list – work we don’t like is work that we don’t do well.
Ways to Say “No? to Graciously.
Here are a few ways to use what you know to help your clients and yourself by actually turning work that you don’t want to do.
* Explain that the work is outside your best skill sets. Offer to introduce the client to someone more qualified.
* Point out that though you might have the skills, based on your primary business, that task would have to take a back seat – Tell the client that the work would probably get done more quickly and to their satisfaction by a person or group who specializes in work of that sort.
* Place the price for the work in question where it would have to be for you to want to do it. For me that is as much as three times the rate of my other work. Then explain to the client that you are not the best choice because you are too expensive for that sort of work.
Use these three ways to gracefully say to a client that the work that they have to offer is not a good match for you. Each of these ansers shows that you have the client’s best interests in mind and allows you to share the work with folks who would appreciate your referral and are probably more suited for tasks that don’t interest you from the start.