No with an Alternative Share Ideas

Sometimes, even though you need to say no to something, you might have an idea that would be of value to your readers. The No with an Alternative organizational structure is appropriate when you have a viable alternative to suggest. It might be used on a website or in a letter.


Fran said that she used the No with an Alternative organizational structure on her website. "When we decided to stop producing a certain brand of shampoo, we knew there'd be some disappointed customers. But it was a done deal—we were closing down the product line. It wasn't profitable and, strategically, we wanted to move in other directions. My job was to announce the decision in such a way that we didn't alienate customers. After all, they might be buying soap and other products from us in addition to the shampoo.

"I added a page on our website to explain our strategic shift and suggest alternative products. It was the Miracle on 34th Street Macy's sending them to Gimble's idea. I positioned it with my boss by explaining that it provided extraordinary customer service. I was a little nervous, but I can't tell you how well it worked. We got hundreds—literally hundreds— of thank you messages, all because I offered a viable alternative."


Sonya, who created the rejection letter using the Bookend No organizational structure (see page 35), explained, "The candidate I'd selected was amazing. My boss concurred. Bob was the nicest fellow, and so well qualified. But just as I'm about to pick up the phone and offer Bob the job, guess what? My boss tells me that a corporate-wide hiring freeze has just been announced. So instead of hiring Bob, I had to write him a letter telling him I couldn't hire him. I called my husband for some sympathy, and he told me that his colleague Leo was looking for someone just like Bob.

"That was great. Instead of a letter using the Bookend No organizational structure, I was able to write a letter using the No with an Alternative organizational structure."


Bob's name and address Dear Bob:

Given that you are the perfect candidate for the xyz position, I am very disappointed to have to report that we have just instituted a hiring freeze. I don't know how long it's going to last; thus, I am unable to offer you the job.

However, I understand that Leo (last name) at ABC Corporation is looking for someone with your background and experience. It might be a perfect opportunity for you. Good luck!

I do hope you'll stay in touch. Perhaps we'll be able to work together at some point in the future.


My name and signature here

"The letter wrote itself once I selected the organizational structure."

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