Productivity / Professional development

How to decline a quote

Can you say no to a quote? And how as a business owner would you prefer to be told? Robert Gerrish shares his expert tips when it comes to saying 'no' in a nice way.


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.

That’s the advice of Flying Solo founder and business coach, Robert Gerrish.  As Robert told Flying Solo editor, Lucy Kippist in this video – there is a definitely an etiquette around this particular aspect of business life.

“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.

“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.

Read more bout this topic on our Flying Solo forum



Lucy Kippist

is an experienced Australian editor with experience in writing, podcasting radio and television, with previous senior editorial roles at News Corp news.com.au, Kidspot and Kinderling Kids Radio. In her current role as editor of Flying Solo, Australia's #1 website for solo business owners she is pursuing her passion for women in the small business space. Connect with her on Twitter and LinkedIn.


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