When someone asks you to do something, sometimes the answer is “no”. Of course, it is how you say “no” that matters.

I have been in a couple of situations recently where I was asked to do something I did not want to do.

One organisation sent me an e-mail asking if I would meet one of its consultants. They wanted to discuss how they could help me with my personal finances.

As you will gather, they wanted to sell me something. And it was definitely not something I wanted to buy at that particular time. If you are like me, your first thought is to come up with some kind of excuse, probably a lie.

But I don’t really want to do that. Why should I allow someone else to compel me to be a liar?

So I e-mailed back: “Thank you for your e-mail. However, this is not something I want to do. Best regards...”

I received a very nice e-mail in return, letting me know that if I ever changed my mind, they would be happy to talk to me.

Another person asked me face-to-face if I would attend a presentation he was giving in a hotel at the weekend. I asked him why I would want to do that. The answer was a bit ambiguous and I realised he just wanted to sell me something.

Again, it is easy to make excuses by telling lies. But I did not want to do that, so I said: “Thank you for your invitation. It is not in my interest to do that. I wish you well with your presentation.”

Stick to your guns

Of course, a salesman will come back at you with “Why do you say that?” questions. But you just need to stick to your original words and not be drawn into a conversation.

I sometimes answer with something like: “I'm unable to do that for personal reasons.” It’s a brave salesman that would ask what those personal reasons are.

All the same, it can be difficult to say “no” sometimes. Most of us have a natural impulse to please other people.

If people make requests you are not happy with or have doubts about, you could say something like:

•  “Let me think about this.”

•  “I need some time to think about this.”

•  “Can I contact you later on this?”

Of course, you do have to contact them later, and without making excuses, turn down their request.

When you say “no” to someone, avoid giving too many reasons and getting sidetracked. The other person may ask why you are saying “no”, or try to persuade you.

However, you do not have to give some long explanation. If you do, you risk being involved in a lengthy conversation while they continue to try and persuade you.

You could say something like:

•  “No, I don’t want to do that.”

•  “No, I prefer not to do that.”

•  “I can understand your situation, but I don’t want to do that.”

There is no need to be unpleasant; you are merely stating what you want in an assertive way.

Remember, it is not the other person you are rejecting but what they want you to do.

Article by Alan Fairweather, “The Motivation Doctor”. He is an international business speaker, successful author and sales growth expert. For more information, visit www.themotivationdoctor.com. Article source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Alan_Fairweather