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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?