It’s always hard to tell someone “no,” especially when you want to protect an important business relationship or maintain your reputation in the local community.
But if you’re in business for long, you will find it’s very important to know how to decline a business offer and do so politely.
This can be even trickier to pull off when you need to respond to an emailed business offer you received online, where you not only have to choose the right words but also think about proper email etiquette.
The easiest way to respond to business offers through email is to use a template. This way, you don’t have to go searching for the right words every time you need to turn down a business offer. Plus you can save time and look more professional.
Here’s how to politely decline a business offer through email with 3 free templates to get you started.
Tips for Politely Declining a Business Offer
In a lot of ways, politely declining a business offer is similar to accepting a business offer. There are a few things you ought to do to help your email response comes across as polite and professional.
Be sure to follow these tips:
Send it from the right address. Make sure to use a professional email address for all your business correspondence, including business offer rejections. Check out our tips on how to create a professional email address if you need to make a new one.
Check the recipient’s address. Use the right recipient address to ensure your message gets through promptly and you don’t keep your recipient waiting. Also, be sure to compose your message with the “To” field blank to avoid accidentally sending it before you are ready.
Include your company letterhead. Sending a message on company letterhead looks polite and professional, even when you’re declining an offer of business. You can even add your letterhead to your business offer template so you’re ready for any new offers.
Use an appropriate salutation. “Dear [First Name]” or Dear [Mr. / Ms. / Mrs. Last Name]” is a much better way to open a rejection email than “To whom it may concern.” Being personable when you decline an offer is both polite and professional.
Communicate clearly and effectively. Always be clear and concise when declining a business offer. Explain your decision in a few words near the beginning of the email to make it clear to your recipient that you won’t be able to accept the offer.
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State That You Are Declining the Offer. It’s important to state clearly that you are declining the offer. A couple of polite examples include:
- “Unfortunately, I am unable to accept this offer.”
- “We regret to inform you that we cannot accept your offer.”
- “I will not be able to accept your offer at this time.”
Offer a Reason for Declining the Offer. If an offer is sincere and made in good faith, you may want to offer a brief explanation for declining it. It can be both polite and professional to explain when:
- An offer is not the right fit.
- The offer’s timing is off.
- The terms are unfavorable.
Thank Them for Their Interest. Often in business, a “no” turns out to be a “no for now.” You can maintain a positive relationship when declining a business offer just by being polite. Be sure to end your email on a positive note by saying thank you.
3 Free Templates to Use to Politely Decline a Business Offer
Declining a business offer through email is much easier when you use a template. The following templates give you a few options for declining business offers. As always, you can use them as-is by filling in the blanks or modifying them to suit your own particular business needs.
Declining a Wrong Fit Business Offer Email Template
Dear Mr. [Last Name],
Thank you for your email. We appreciate you reaching out about [briefly describe the business offer].
Unfortunately, we are unable to accept your offer to partner together. [Your Company Name] specializes in [briefly describe your business’s specialty / area of focus / scope / size / capacity]. Therefore, your proposal to [briefly describe the business offer] falls outside our [area of expertise / business capacity / etc.].
Though we are unable to move forward together on this project, I want to thank you for reaching out to [Your Company Name]. We wish you the best in all your endeavors.
[Your Email Signature]
Declining a Bad Timing Business Offer Email Template
Dear [First Name],
Thank you for reaching out about the possibility of [briefly describe the business offer].
While our team found this opportunity [interesting / exciting / intriguing / etc], we regret to inform you that we will not be able to take you up on the offer. [Your Company Name] [will be unable to participate due to prior commitments / is currently focused on other business priorities / will be focused on other business goals during the next quarter].
[Your Company Name] thanks you for considering us and wishes you all the success on your project. We hope to be able to collaborate with you on future projects.
[Your Email Signature]
Declining a Business Offer With Unfavorable Terms Email Template
Dear [First Name],
Thank you for reaching out about [briefly describe the business offer]. After a careful review by our management team, [Your Company Name] regrettably must decline your offer.
As part of your offer, you requested [briefly describe the unfavorable terms]. Unfortunately, [describe briefly why the proposed terms won’t work for your business]. Therefore, we will be unable to partner with you for this initiative.
We look forward to other opportunities where [Your Company Name] may be able to partner with [Their Company Name]. Thank you again for your consideration and best wishes on all your endeavors.
[Your Email Signature]
Using these tips and templates as a guide, you can politely decline business offers through email while protecting your business relationships and your reputation in your community. Best of all you won’t have to spend hours looking for the right words or remaining professional while delivering the bad news.
How to Save Even More Time on Email
Declining a business offer through email is often tricky, but email templates make it much faster and easier to do so when needed.
To make managing your business email even faster and easier, consider adding Folio to your email inbox.
Folio is an email add-on that makes handling a busy inbox a breeze. Smart, AI-powered algorithms help you keep track of important messages, so you never miss out on a business opportunity in the shuffle.
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