Contact Me


The Unexpected Value of Saying No

Do you have an issue with telling a service provider no?  … something as simple as, “I’ve thought it over and thanks, but no thanks.”  It’s been my experience as a business coach and life coach over the last 20 years that a lot of people do!

Some people’s way of saying no is silence … avoidance.  They may have said they’d get back in touch to close the loop, but you never hear from them again.

Does that ever describe you?   

For example:  You have three contractors come out to bid on building a retaining wall.  You decide to go with one of them.  Do you call or email or text the other two to tell them you won’t be using their services?

How about if you’re looking for an accountant … or a graphic designer … or a coach?

Do you let them know directly, in an upfront, unequivocal, and timely communication … or do you just kinda let it slide and figure they’ll get the message?

Why do I ask?  Because how you “say” no matters … especially when you don’t actually say it. 

Here are some of the potential impacts your silence has.

It’s simply not in integrity.  Does that mean you’re a bad person?  No.

Look, virtually all of us have failed to follow up at some time.  I have, so, I’m not being holier than thou.

Forget the value judgment.  The real issue is it just doesn’t “work.”

It clearly doesn’t work for the provider, but it also doesn’t work for you.

How so?

You’re being timid and failing to achieve closure.  Those are not behaviors that lead to success in any endeavor.  And I know that how people behave in certain areas of their lives is often how they behave in others.

For example, if you have a hard time saying no, it’s likely you’re also timid and not direct when it comes to marketing your own services and taking on the sometimes challenging … even uncomfortable … conversations that are often part of the sales process.

Do you play it safe and avoid asking the probing questions you really need to ask in order to serve your prospect?   Do you let them go from your interaction without a clear yes … a clear no … or a legitimate maybe?

Do you simply hope they’ll call back and re-engage with you?

By the way, 14 out of 15 times, they won’t.  And with the maybes, do you actually schedule a follow-up with them and ultimately get a clear yes or no … or do you let it slide?

I see the failure to say no in a direct, unequivocal, and timely way as a red flag.  And what might we label that red flag?


Avoiding difficult conversations or challenging tasks of any kind will cause you to spin or even wallow, and when you’re spinning and wallowing, what are you NOT doing?

Moving forward.

But here’s the even more subtle, vibrational impact not closing the loop has on you.

Like attracts like.

We get back the kind of energy … the kind of vibrational signal … we put out in the world.  It’s the law of attraction in action.

If YOU are failing to follow-up with people … if YOU are failing to say, “No thanks” when you need to … if YOU are out of integrity, how surprised should you be when people fail to follow-up with you … when they’re out of integrity in your interactions with them?

Not too surprised.

So, what’s my prescription for addressing avoidance syndrome?

Recognize and acknowledge where you’re out of integrity with not calling back or following up.

And, if there’s something you can do about it … do it!  

If the “infraction” is pretty old, just let it go and promise yourself that you’ll do it differently next time.

But going forward, make those calls!  And get yourself back into integrity around any conversations you’ve been avoiding or things you’ve promised to do.

The reward of doing so just might show up in unexpected ways in your business results!

Best Wishes,



If you’d like to subscribe to my newsletter

Request Time With Denise

Meet Denise: Denise Hedges is a Business Development Coach and Speaker Coach for small business owners who want to be more comfortable, confident, and successful with their sales and marketing efforts. She specializes in helping them use speaking as a way to dramatically improve their results!