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Why reject people, not ignore them

Email message of no thanksSometimes in business you need to not accept someone. You can choose to actually reject them or you can just ignore them until they effectively go away.

Whether it’s someone who has applied for a job, sent you a guest blog post or given you a proposal, that person has put some time and energy into contacting you. And quite possibly has some emotional involvement, too.

Of course, I am not counting the obvious spam offers you get – spam doesn’t deserve much in the way of respect and certainly shouldn’t get a response (as tempting as it is often may be!)

Choosing your response

I think those people deserve the respect of being answered. No one likes to hear ‘no thanks’ but it’s better than hearing nothing and waiting for a response.

Do you remember applying for jobs and not getting a response? I hated putting in all that effort and then not being sure they had actually read my application if it wasn’t acknowledged.

Saying no can be done quickly and harshly without any thought for the other person’s feelings. Or with a little more effort you can be respectful and assertive, leaving the other person with their self-respect. Either way, it doesn’t really take that much to give an answer.

You can even have a stock rejection response on file to save time, if you must.

I prefered getting a standard letter than nothing back when I applied for jobs.

Rejecting does have a payoff

Aside from being the humane and decent thing to do, actually rejecting someone’s approach can benefit you as well.

For one thing, you aren’t damaging your own reputation. Offend enough people, or convince enough people are you too lazy to reply, and you may just find fewer people respect you and want to offer you guest posts or their time and expertise.

Sending a nice rejection maintains relationships. Just because you don’t want to use this guest post or don’t think Mary suits your current job position doesn’t mean those people can’t offer you something of value later on. Burning bridges by ignoring people just doesn’t seem like a wise move to me.

What other reasons are there for taking the time to say ‘no thanks’ to people?

Have you had good things come out of a ‘no thanks’ response?

8 Responses to Why reject people, not ignore them

  • jwdrumhaven says:

    I think you hit the nail on the head. Getting a “no thanks” in my opinion, is far better than getting no response at all. First of all it shows that a person had enough respect for my time and effort to take a moment to formulate some sort of response. Second, it keeps you from wondering if the other person even got what ever it is you sent them. You can waste a lot of time wondering and waiting.

  • KennyK says:

    I”ve actually had a good experience with saying ‘no’ to someone at the time when I was doing website design for a small company. I was looking for one or two designers that I could outsource some work to. Some people that didn’t have the skills I was looking for applied. I tried to be polite and explain clearly what I was looking for and why their profile didn’t match that. One didn’t reply anymore after my response, one told me “I understand but I thought I would apply because I like your work” and another one said “I’ll keep working on my skills so I can join a website design company in the future”. Both said thanks for getting back to them. They appreciate it, and later I found that one of them referred some client to me for design work. I found out when I asked that client how they heard about us 🙂

  • vida_llevares says:

    Rejecting offers and proposals is part of the responsibility and authority of a manager. It also goes to show that you are expected to be mature enough to know how to evaluate offers and proposals and how to facilitate rejections constructively. It is also true that on the side of the one giving the offer or the proposal, getting a negative feedback is better than not getting any feedback at all. It is also a sign of professionalism.

  • darkmeiji says:

    I do appreciate when I receive a no thanks response than receiving no response at all. At least I am not guessing what happened to my application or proposal. It also helps inform us of the reason of the rejection. Finally, we will know if it is already time to look for new opportunities instead of waiting for something that will never come.

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