As Sales Recruiters in Chicago, we hear the word “No” quite a bit.  That’s just a natural part of working in Sales. But, let’s be honest here, saying no to someone you have no relation to or someone you don’t necessarily like is an easy thing to do.  Like a telemarketer selling you something you have no interest in or the door to door salesman selling you cable that you already have or even better the person that is constantly gloating and finally needs assistance.  Those are all pretty easy scenarios for a simple “No”.

No, becomes a trickier word when it is with someone you respect, trust or have good relations with.  Often times people will beat around the bush, change the subject or just ignore the situation all together.  It is never easy to let down a friend or relative or even a reliable coworker, but it is always better to be honest than ignore the situation.

Here are a couple of things to help you the next time you need to say No.

  1. Don’t waste time or drag things out to avoid the inevitable. Prolonging saying no only makes the situation worse.  Make sure to say it quick to allow the person to move on and find assistance elsewhere.
  2. Give a reason as to why you are saying no. Hopefully the reason makes sense and be descriptive as to why this is not going to work for you.
  3. A good way to change the direction of the conversation after saying no is to suggest other ideas as to how different options might help.

While this topic can relate to anyone in any situation, I personally see it all too often in my profession.  As a recruiter, I make it my main goal to build quality relationships with my candidates.  A relationship with trust and understanding.  The big draw back in these types of relationships is that sometimes a position is presented that is not necessarily the best fit for the candidate and because we have had good conversations in the past, saying no can be difficult.  What happens most often in that situation is people avoid the call all together and disappear because they do not want to let me down.   This burns bridges and ruins relationships, so if you do find yourself in this situation, use steps 1,2 and 3 to keep the relationship at its best.

These few bullet points give insight into how to handle the topic in a professional setting.


  • Make time for a follow up call to discuss pro’s and con’s
  • Tell the truth, no one’s feelings should be hurt if you decline an opportunity
  • Keep an open mind, this opportunity may not be a good fit, but the next one could be your dream job.


  • Stop answering calls, emails or texts. There is no reason to burn a bridge over something as simple as not being interested in the current opportunity.
  • Act like you are interested in something that you are not, it is a waste of time for you and me to go through a long process just to see how things turn out

If you’re looking for sales recruiters in Chicago, call us at 773.296.0167.  If we can help, we will, if we can’t we have no problem saying “No”.