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Monday, April 14, 2014

The Fine Art of Politely Saying 'NO'

Aside from my glamorous life as a multi-published author, I also have a full-time day job. I sell advertising for a local magazine Monday through Friday. So that means I make cold calls on a daily basis and get to talk to people I've never met before. Some of these people are friendly, some of them are annoyed, some of them are too busy to take my call every single time. But the one type of person who I absolutely HATE to call is the one who won't say NO. Now, don't get me wrong. I don't mean the one who says yes. Unfortunately, that magical three letter word is few and far between most days. But that person is markedly different from the one who absolutely won't say no the first fifty times I call them.

This anti-NO person is the one who strings me along day after day, week after week, and month after month with a maybe. This person can't make up his/her mind to save his/her life and just refuses to commit. So I keep calling and emailing in the hopes they may give me that magical three letter word noted above.

Even worse than the maybe person is the one who simply refuses to ever answer the phone and/or return a call or email. They obviously don't realize that not getting an actual NO means I WILL keep calling and emailing month after month after month. If you don't want something, just say NO. It's not hard, really. All you have to do is wait until the salesperson takes a breath and then say "No, thanks." That's it. No fuss, no muss. I know not all salespeople are the same, however, in my office NO means NO. If we're told not to call anymore then we don't. We don't want to waste our time any more than the ones who don't want to buy advertising want to hear our voices every month.

And last and most definitely least of my favorites is the rude SOB who hangs up as soon as I identify myself. I mean, come on. Is it really that hard to just say NO?! It would take literally seconds out of that person's life to say no AND THEN hang up. That's it. That's all. And I promise it doesn't even hurt.

So yeah, I had a few of these today. Can you tell?


  1. Awesome article! I agree that it's much easier when someone makes a decision and can let me know right up front instead of me wasting time with a maybe....that turns into another maybe and so forth.

    1. Thanks! I think being dragged on and on is the single most frustrating part of my job.