Can you say no to a quote? How to decline gracefully

- August 2, 2021 2 MIN READ
how to decline a quote

You’ve put a call out for some work. The quotes have flooded in – but not all responses are created equal. When it comes to saying no to a quote, is there a nice way to decline? Robert Gerrish shares his expert tips.

How to say no to a quote

Saying ‘no’ sounds so straightforward. In theory. But when it comes to saying no to a quote in the small business world, it always pays to be polite as possible.


Make your brief clear

“We are used to everything being immediate in the modern world,” says Robert.  “Our expectation is that we get a response to our quote or our question, really quickly. So one of the key things to remember when asking for a quote is to make your expectations clear. If you give someone a wooly brief, you’ll probably get a woolly response, so make sure you highlight what is really important,” says Robert.

“Make sure your pitch for quotation is complex and detail as is needed and be very clear in that first communication about how you expect the quote will be delivered.”

If you decide to turn it down, make sure you do so politely but also be careful.

How to decline gracefully

“You just need to say something like, ‘I am sorry I am not going ahead with the quote on this occasion as I have found someone better able to meet my needs. I will keep you in mind for next time.'”

Then, if there was another element that stands out about their quote – then this is the time to say it.

“But try not to get into a fight about it! You need to be cautious of your words but also provide any feedback you think that person will find useful – you need to find the balance,” says Robert.

This post was originally published 03 September  2019.

You can read more bout this topic on our Flying Solo forum

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