Email Review: How To Say NO To Your Clients [PME #2]

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Saying no to your clients can be somewhat tricky. You might feel like you have the right words, but is the email good enough? 🤔​ In this series called Pimp My Email, we perform an email review on your emails and help you write better ones 👍​

In this episode, Vera, Ilan, and Andrej do an email review on one of Andrej’s old threads. He tried to let his client know the inefficiencies of the workflow he followed at the time. If you want to keep your job, this is NOT how you say no to your clients 😨​

Follow this series and let us guide you in the right direction. We will tell you:

▪ How to convey your message the proper way

▪ What words to use in the context of the email

▪ How to make the email shorter than it needs to be

▪ And so much more


Andrej Zito

I think I would just start by first asking you if you kind of get the context oops, if you kind of get the context of the email, there are a lot of acronyms that I didn’t feel like I had to explain. But did you maybe get the gist of the whole thing? Yeah… You did.

Ilan Bloch

Yeah, there are a lot of acronyms, or someone was not very happy, and indeed mentioned.

Andrej Zito

Yeah. So just to, I think I already told you basically, what it was about it was about process. And I think that the email thread was even longer. And I think I got to see what they were discussing at a later point. And it immediately raised my alarm, because I thought that it’s not very efficient, the way they want us to do things. And I wanted to explain that to the client. And so that’s the, that’s the email they wrote.

Andrej Zito

Maybe, maybe just to give you a context, more context about this. And I’m not saying this as an excuse, but this is the time where… So I was working for a vendor who had a client, and then at some point I joined the client. Working with them. Still, as a, like a contingent worker, I wasn’t a full time employee, but they basically needed to hire someone among their vendors. So I was working with them, and they were sort of my colleagues. And then when my contract finished, I went back to the vendor, and I was still working on that account that used to be kind of like my employer in a way.

Andrej Zito

So not saying that, because of that, I should have used the language that I used, but I did feel a little bit closer to them. And another important thing, just so that you know where I was… in my mind at the time, I think it was the time, where I was very much considering of leaving the job. And I wanted to do something on my own. And I was really, really trying to be efficient about my work. And what else do I want to say? Oh, that’s actually related to another email. So I was I was pretty much confident I didn’t have almost like anything to lose. So maybe that’s why I didn’t think like I need to play it nicely, or anything like that. Yeah. But that’s basically it.

Andrej Zito

So I’m not sure where we’re going to start. So the first email is from from the client. So that’s not much. So let’s start with the the part that I’m looking at right now. Or actually no, like, let me start by asking you, How did you feel about? I think maybe this is the part where it gets a little bit aggressive. Yeah, right.

Vera Richards

I do have a question for you. Yes, please. So my question is, what was the intention? What was your intention with the tone of that email? Were you truly not caring? Or do you think that you would? You would get the client to listen to the efficiencies? Because almost feels like you’re venting your frustration? Oh, yes. In that you were not you were actually kind of stomping on the deal. Because because of the approach you took. So it was really your intention, since you’re saying you were ready to leave. Nothing to lose? Was it?

Andrej Zito

Okay, so as I’m looking at this email, I think my first intention and this is the first email before before I turn into full frustration, this is where I was maybe trying to understand it. I’m not sure if the language in this email that you’re looking at right now if this was okay. Ish to you. But I think I was really frustrated by the whole efficiency that the client is basically asking us to do. Personally, it wasn’t impacting me because I wasn’t one of the 50 plus people who had to do duplicate work. But to me it sounded like it’s absolute nonsense. Like why would the people have to do it? And at the same time, the client is basically paying extra because they have to pay for the work right that we do duplicate think what was my end Attention. Yes, like, yeah, like not that it matters at this point. So I guess I already thought that it’s not going to change anything. But maybe I just wanted to, I think in the first email, sorry, if I’m jumping back and forth and thinking the first email, I was kind of like just inquiring, just to be sure that, I understand that. And then I just wanted to like, say here, I just want to say my input for the record, like, hey, like, what you’re doing is actually very inefficient. And stupid. Right. I think I think that was my. And definitely, there’s probably a lot of ego behind that. Because because, you know, I was the one who discovered this efficiency, I was the one who probably proposed how to do it differently. But the clients still said no, because they were scared that something might change at at or like, like it could break the whole program or something.

Vera Richards

No, I think you were on the right track, at the moment where you were listing the numbers, how many people this will impact. But where I would turn it around, yep, to take out the emotions, and basically add in the dollar amounts, right. So it would save you this much, it will bring this much. It will reflect in faster turnaround time, it will you know, all of those things. If you listed that Facts Only, and no emotion and no questions, I think you would see a different impact by the scanner, because I was happy to see where you said I’ve calculated the session will negatively affect the people I was singing, that’s good, that’s good. But you should have put the dollar signs and

Ilan Bloch

executive speaking. I think the, it’s not that bad. And especially when you when you put in perspective, the the all the background information, and you just gave us that you work there. And so you know them it’s mean, you have more relationship, and than just a man or a client. So by introducing your politically incorrect views, Joe already stayed. I mean, they know you probably I suppose. And then I don’t know the guy, they know who they’re talking to. And and when he expects something else. So you’re, you’re you’re you’re going to be blunt, it’s okay, it’s very inefficient. Most probably you

Andrej Zito

seem very inefficient, or very efficient, or the the process

Ilan Bloch

is very inefficient, inefficient. And you want to correct that. I mean, you saw something that you did you disagree with, and you want to make your point. It’s most probably had you read it another time, or have it heard by someone else, it wouldn’t have gone without the minor edits. What I understood less is the reaction of the client, like when we’re going to escalate that. I’m going forward for our listeners and auditors. But there’s another there’s a response to that where the client says, The renewal happy and they’re going to react. Right. So

Andrej Zito

this just just just to be clear. So this actually is a response for my manager. Okay, I think it’s not from the client. So that’s why she said that I might be escalated to vn, which would be the client. I actually do have a reply from the client. I didn’t include this in this email because she she, she she wasn’t reacting. She didn’t want to fight back, of course, professionally. But I thought I would just cut it at this point. With my email. I’m wondering, Ilan, if you if you think because what Vera said to put the dollars we hear that a lot. And I think it makes sense. But is it is it really the main important for the client? Like if you speak in the terms of dollars and how much money they can save? Or is there? Are there different alternatives?

Ilan Bloch

Yeah, if you want to have to get your message across then certainly you want to talk what speaks to them. And if they have vendors doing an inefficient an inner efficient process. And it doesn’t cost them more. They don’t care. I mean, it’s not them doing the work. So, so, so they’re knowing that they can slash their cost by to that. It’s, it means a lot, certainly for your purpose of getting getting what you want that that personally would be more efficient. But but it’s it’s kind of it’s kind of here implicitly, but when you say that the benefits usually weigh the same. I don’t think it was that bad.

Vera Richards

I think I would still kind of, like Elon said, what matters to the listener? Right? If the listener is an engineer on the client side, they will support you and help you. If, if it’s a manager, the money will speak.

Ilan Bloch

That’s also another Andrei, that we have here. I mean, it was seven, eight years ago. So different person?

Vera Richards

Oh, yeah, totally. Right. Now it’s time to go well, okay. Now he’s,

Andrej Zito

at that point in my life, I was I was very, very cocky, very cocky, and also very confident in the way that I want to work. And I, like the other email that I have prepared for you, is also related to efficiency. And it’s more about meetings, like how I didn’t like meetings, and I wanted to make sure that everyone knows that I don’t support having meetings that don’t bring any value and and that are just wasting people’s time. But yeah, because I was too confident or cocky, however you want to call it, I was not communicating in a very professional way. And I don’t know. I don’t know. Like, like, like, when I was reading the emails, I was really like cringing, like, like, how could I have written something like that? Like, I even wrote in the mail like message to my to my manager? Like, how could you tolerate me? It’s such a pain in the ass. But But yeah, the question that I have for you is, I think, twofold. So I mean, we already discussed okay, like, like, if you have something put the put the dollar amount to it. How do you normally? I mean, besides that, how do you let the client know in case you think that they are not doing the the right thing? Besides the dollars? Or Are there cases where you where you are just quiet? Does it depend on the client? Like, we’re, I don’t know, if you propose an alternative to what the client says they want. It might already be viewed, even if you do it the nice way, it might already be viewed negatively. So are the case. Are there cases where you just like, You are the yes person like whatever the client says it’s a yes. Or do you always try to say that? Okay, I think maybe there’s a better way, and you explain it and put the dollar amount?

Ilan Bloch

No, no, I think maybe it’s coming with age. But I think you can now the client knows what they want, and they’re going to get what they want. In there comes a point where you can’t care less. So it’s you want to pay for something that you did? It’s not good. Go ahead. Absolutely. Well,

Vera Richards

you can also look at it another way to aundre that you claim that someone it client doesn’t want to efficiency, you still do it on your side, right? Do you somehow interest seven and get the efficiency in house make more money on your side client is going to pay for this inefficient way but you are giving them the first choice just doing it this way will bring XY and Z benefit and we can apply it in you won’t even notice. It’s just going to make everything efficient. But if they don’t want to, um, you know, with Elon, you cannot, you cannot really keep saying here is more money more money and they’re saying I’m not interested. At that point. You just have to go with whatever they decide. And if you can somehow make yourself more efficient and

Ilan Bloch

you’re absolutely

Andrej Zito

going back to the email is there is there maybe something like some some word notes that you would never use or that you think should should be read or skipped.

Vera Richards

Yeah, I think I would not ask them the question, because you’re asking them questions of why do you think there was one point where you said something? Like, why would you think? Should? or should there be any limit for things that make our life easier? So, you know, you were kind of making it more of a philosophical now. And, and that will, that could just rub someone wrong.

Andrej Zito

Right, right. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So basically, be aggressive. Yeah. But to me, at that point, the argument from declined was, we have already introduced some new items. And I was like, okay, so I mean, so what, like, Can I introduce even more to make it even better? Yeah.

Vera Richards

Sorry, you’re gonna have to take on more?

Andrej Zito

Not to me, like, like, at the beach, just just like at the very beginning, like, that is a bit unfortunate. Like, is that something that you would ever reply to claim? Like? Like? Probably no,

Vera Richards

probably? No, yeah. Because you’re already starting off with, you know, what a bad decisions they’re making.

Andrej Zito

And for example, for like, like, there’s a whole email like, not that it matters at this point. But I would still like to express my feedback for the record, is this really just just an ego thing? Like, if you already know, at some point that nothing will change? Or you assume that nothing will change? Or 90%, nothing will change? Would you still say something? Or would you just let it go?

Vera Richards

You know, I mean, if you wanted to say something, I would just bring in the same, because I just put, I calculated some numbers just wanted to show you the efficiencies and what benefits they can bring just for you to maybe review it one more time. But I understand your decisions such and such. You know, so so if you brought in, if you started off with our way that here’s, here’s some facts, just you know, give it a give it a look one more time in case you would still like to pursue this, you know, we’re ready to apply that solution. Okay, I would kind of totally skip this. Okay, well,

Ilan Bloch

you know, same thing, I would say, stick to stick to the facts. And, and, again, maybe mean, remember motions and no schooling, right? That’s what I want. Fine.

Andrej Zito

All right, everyone, that’s the end of our pilot episode for a new series called pimp my email. If you want to see this series continue, and especially if you want to get personal feedback on your emails, and how you could improve your email communication. Or if by any chance, somebody told you that your email style sucks, and you want to make sure what other people think about it, because different people can view words and the style and emails and communication differently. So if you are interested in third or fourth party feedback on your emails, all you have to do is send us your email to this email. And we’ll make sure to include it in the future episodes, just like you have seen in this episode, all you have to do is blur out or hide the confidential information. And you can do the same thing for your name. Or you can just send a note to me. And you can just simply ask me not to say your name publicly. So we can also make this fully anonymous, to make sure that you don’t get into trouble. But of course, our whole idea with this series is to make sure that all of us can learn from the emails that we write. So not only we are going to give you a personal feedback, direct feedback to your emails, but hopefully, what we say is also going to help others improve their emails. So if you’re interested, make sure to send your email to the email that I already shared before. And stay tuned, make sure you subscribe to our channel. And hopefully we’ll be back with Verizon Elan. And myself, where if you wink your emails this time, bye bye!

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