Managing our time with different ways to say No!

Let’s face it – we’re ALL busy and finding ways to say no can be a constant challenge!

There’s NEVER enough hours in the day to get everything done we’d like to get done.

We’re all doing the best we can with the resources we have available, in this moment, although sometimes, our workloads can feel a little like pushing water uphill with a fork, can’t they!?

And then, as if it’s not tough enough trying to manage the barrage of ‘stuff’ landing on our desks, and in our inboxes, and on our ‘phones, we get THAT request….

You know what request I’m talking about – the one for help and of course, saying NO! is hard, especially if it’s a cry for help from someone we really like or respect or trust.

So, how do YOU assert yourself when someone asks YOU to help them out, at a time when YOU are inundated with your OWN work and priorities and deadlines?

We have a brilliant little 1%er here in FIT, which can and will make a 100% difference to your customer’s experience when you need to deliver a bit of bad news i.e. say NO! to someone’s request for help.

And that is to “FOCUS on what you CAN control, don’t FESTER on what you CAN’T”.

This little 1%er is called the Tape Technique – it uses reverse psychology to enable the ‘bad news’ to land a little softer to the ear or eye, by ensuring the ‘good news / positive tape’ is set to play first!

Here’s 16 Ways of Saying NO! (through the spoken OR written word) using the all-powerful Tape Technique, where you focus your response on the positives &/or the can do’s FIRST.

Instead of using the ugly BUT word (which stands for Behold the Underlying Truth btw) try using ALTHOUGH OR HOWEVER OR AND…..


1. Yes, I can certainly look at that for you, although it will have to be in (abc timeframe) once I’ve completed this (xyz deadline) – is that OK with you?

2. Yes, I can work on that in an hour / this afternoon / tomorrow with you, although I do need to get this (xyz deadline) met first – are you happy to wait while I do that?

3. Yes, I can work on that problem with you, just as soon as I’ve completed (abc) Are you OK with that or would it be better to see if (name) could help you, if it’s urgent?

4. I’d like to do that for you, if I wasn’t so pressed for time – and things are just too hectic for me at the moment, thank you anyway.

5. Yes, I could have sorted that out for you, if I had known about it earlier, however……

6. I’d have been delighted to help, if only you’d asked me earlier, however……

7. Thanks for putting your trust in me, and I’m fully committed at the moment – will you remember me next time round?

8. I’d like to sort that out for you, although I’ve got so many demands on my time right now that I wouldn’t really do justice to what you need – and things get a bit easier (tomorrow / next week / next month). Would that be of any help to you?

9. I’d love to do that for you. Could you do (xyz) for me, otherwise I’ll have no free time to work on my other priorities?

10. Thank you for asking. I am actually busy on something else then – have you thought of asking (name / dept)? I can ring them for you if you’d like?

11. I’d like to help, although I just have no time for additional commitments that (hour / day / week) …. thanks for your understanding.

12. I’m happy to look at that for you, although that’s not my area of expertise – you want someone who could do it better such as (name / dept). Shall I put you in touch with them?

13. Yes, that’s something I can do, although I’m working on (xyz project) at the moment, so it would have to wait until (abc timeframe) – is that OK with you?

14. Yes, I’d be delighted to help, and the only time I can do that would be….is that any good for you?

15. Yes, I can certainly help you with (abc), although I couldn’t do all that as I’m committed to (xyz) at the moment – would that bit help at all?

16. P.O.I.B.R.N – Pronounced ‘poyburn’ – Push Off I’m Busy Right Now!

Want to find out a few more 1%ers for delivering remarkable customer service, to ensure YOU become that Purple Cow in YOUR busy field? Just drop me a DM or click the Calendly link below and let’s get talking!

If our convo ends up a NO!, I’ll expect you to apply one of the 16 ways above to let me down gently and keep the rapport intact, OK!?

Hello... I'm Marie Cross

‘…and I’d love to include you in our growing list of readers who are discovering new, practical ways to develop remarkable service in their call, contact and customer service centres.’

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