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8. Negative Messages
8. Negative Messages
8. Negative Messages
8. Negative Messages
8. Negative Messages
8. Negative Messages
8. Negative Messages
8. Negative Messages
8. Negative Messages
8. Negative Messages
8. Negative Messages
8. Negative Messages
8. Negative Messages
8. Negative Messages
8. Negative Messages
8. Negative Messages
8. Negative Messages
8. Negative Messages
8. Negative Messages
8. Negative Messages
8. Negative Messages
8. Negative Messages
8. Negative Messages
8. Negative Messages
8. Negative Messages
8. Negative Messages
8. Negative Messages
8. Negative Messages
8. Negative Messages
8. Negative Messages
8. Negative Messages
8. Negative Messages
8. Negative Messages
8. Negative Messages
8. Negative Messages
8. Negative Messages
8. Negative Messages
8. Negative Messages
8. Negative Messages
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8. Negative Messages

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  • 1. Chapter 8 Negative Messages
  • 2. Resolving Business Problems
    • Call the individual involved.
    • Describe the problem and focus on what you are doing to handle the situation.
    • Explain
      • Why the problem occurred
      • What you are doing to resolve it
      • How you will prevent the problem from happening again
  • 3.
    • Follow up with a letter that
      • Documents details discussed in the phone call
      • Promotes goodwill
    Resolving Business Problems
  • 4. The Indirect Strategy
    • Buffer
    • Reasons—Logical Explanation and Negative News
    • Constructive Follow-up if Needed
    • Closing
  • 5. Possible Buffers for Opening Bad-News Messages
    • Best news
    • Appreciation
    • Agreement
    • Facts
    • Understanding
    • Apology
  • 6.
      • Unfortunately, your application for credit has been reviewed negatively.
      • (Reveals the bad news bluntly.)
    Evaluating Buffer Statements How effective is the following opening for a letter that refuses to grant credit?
  • 7.
      • We are delighted to receive your application for credit.
      • (Gives the wrong impression.)
    Evaluating Buffer Statements How effective is the following opening for a letter that refuses to grant credit?
  • 8.
      • The recent resurgence of interest in the stock market caught many of us by surprise.
      • (Is not relevant.)
    Evaluating Buffer Statements How effective is the following opening for a letter that refuses to grant credit?
  • 9.
      • Your request for a monetary contribution has been referred to me for reply.
      • ( Fails to engage the reader. )
    Evaluating Buffer Statements How effective is the following opening for a letter that refuses a request for a donation?
  • 10. Evaluating Buffer Statements
      • We appreciate the fine work your organization is doing to provide early childhood programs that meet the needs of parents and very young children.
      • ( Compliments the reader but doesn’t imply approval . )
    How effective is the following opening for a letter that refuses a request for a donation?
  • 11. Presenting the Reasons
    • Be cautious in explaining.
    • Cite reader benefits, if possible.
    • Explain company policy, if relevant.
    • Choose positive words.
    • Show that the matter was treated seriously and fairly.
  • 12.
    • Avoid the spotlight . Put the bad news in the middle of a paragraph halfway through the message.
    • Use a long sentence . Don’t put the bad news in a short, simple sentence.
    Techniques for Deemphasizing Bad News
  • 13.
    • Place the bad news in a subordinate clause .
      • Although we have no position for an individual with your qualifications at this time, we are pleased that you thought of us when you started your job search.
    Techniques for Deemphasizing Bad News
  • 14.
    • Instead of this:
    • We cannot make a contribution at this time.
    • Try this:
    • A contribution cannot be made at this time.
    Techniques for Deemphasizing Bad News
    • Use the passive voice .
  • 15.
    • Instead of this:
    • Our investigation reveals that you owe three creditors large sums and that you were fired from your last job.
    • Try this:
    • Our investigation reveals that your employment status and your financial position are unstable at this time.
    Techniques for Deemphasizing Bad News
    • Be clear but not overly graphic .
  • 16.
    • Instead of this:
    • We cannot contribute to your charity this year.
    • Try this:
    • Although all our profits must be reinvested in our company this year, we hope to be able to support your future fund-raising activities.
    Techniques for Deemphasizing Bad News
    • Imply the refusal but sometimes the direct refusal is better .
  • 17. Techniques for Deemphasizing Bad News
    • Although the cashmere sweater cannot be sold at the erroneously listed price of $18, we can allow you to purchase this $218 item for only $118.
    • Suggest an alternative .
  • 18.
    • Active voice:
    • I cannot allow you to return the DVD player because . . . .
    • Passive voice:
    • Return of the DVD player is not allowed because . . . .
    Using the Passive Voice
    • Passive-voice verbs focus attention on actions rather than on personalities. They are useful in being tactful.
  • 19.
    • Active voice:
    • Ryan checked the report, but he missed the error.
    • Passive voice:
    • The report was checked , but the error was missed .
    Using the Passive Voice
    • Passive-voice verbs focus attention on actions rather than on personalities. They are useful in being tactful.
  • 20.
    • Notice that passive-voice verb phrases always include “helper” verbs.
    Using the Passive Voice
  • 21.
    • Examples of “helper” verbs forming passive voice:
      • The report was checked.
      • The schedule is being revised.
      • Invitations were sent.
    Using the Passive Voice
  • 22. Try Your Skill
    • Convert the following statement from active to passive voice.
      • I am unable to make a cash contribution this year because of unusually high taxes.
      • A cash contribution cannot be made this year because of unusally high taxes.
  • 23.
    • Convert the following statement from active to passive voice.
      • We cannot process your application this month.
      • Your application cannot be processed this month.
    Try Your Skill
  • 24.
    • Convert the following statement from active to passive voice.
      • I have examined your employment record and found that you have little cost accounting experience.
      • Examination of your employment record has revealed that you have little cost accounting experience.
    Try Your Skill
  • 25.
    • Convert the following statement from active to passive voice.
      • Mark made a programming error that delayed our project.
      • A programming error was made that delayed our project.
    Try Your Skill
  • 26. Closing Bad-News Messages
    • Avoid endings that sound canned, insincere, inappropriate, or self-serving. Try to personalize the closing with
      • An alternative to the refusal
      • Resale or sales promotion
      • A forward look
      • Good wishes
      • Freebies
  • 27. Request Refusal Four-Paragraph Letter
    • Paragraph 1: Acknowledge receipt of letter.
    • Paragraph 2: Explain the situation and in the last sentence state refusal.
    • Paragraph 3: Give an alternative solution to the refusal.
    • Paragraph 4: Thank for business. Avoid saying “sorry”. State you look forward to continuing a business relationship.
  • 28. Writing Plan for Refusing Requests or Claims
    • Buffer
      • Start with a neutral statement on which both reader and writer can agree, such as a compliment, an expression of appreciation, a quick review of the facts, or an apology.
      • Try to include a key idea or word that acts as a transition to the explanation.
  • 29.
    • Reasons and Bad News
      • Present valid reasons for the refusal, avoiding words that create a negative tone.
      • Include resale or sales promotion, if appropriate.
      • Soften the blow by positioning the bad news strategically, as the last sentence of the second paragraph, using the passive voice, accentuating the positive, or implying a refusal. Once you have finished with this sentence move to the next paragraph.
    Writing Plan for Refusing Requests or Claims
  • 30. Writing Plan for Refusing Requests or Claims
    • Constructive Follow-Up
      • If you wish to list an alternative, use the third paragraph of this four-paragraph letter.
      • Suggest a compromise or substitute, if possible.
      • You can offer an alternative idea for the request.
  • 31.
    • Closing
      • Renew good feelings with a positive statement.
      • Look forward to continued business.
      • Avoid referring to the bad news.
    Writing Plan for Refusing Requests or Claims
  • 32. Writing Plan for Announcing Bad News to Customers and Employees
    • Buffer
      • Open with a compliment, appreciation, facts, or some form of good news.
      • Include a key idea that leads from the opening to the reasons.
  • 33.
    • Reasons and Bad News
      • Present valid reasons for the refusal, avoiding words that create a negative tone.
      • Include resale or sales promotion, if appropriate.
      • Soften the blow by positioning the bad news strategically, as the last sentence of the second paragraph, using the passive voice, accentuating the positive, or implying a refusal. Once you have finished with this sentence move to the next paragraph.
      • Use positive words. Avoid apologizing. Focus on what is being done to help the situation.
    Writing Plan for Announcing Bad News to Customers and Employees
  • 34. Writing Plan for Announcing Bad News to Customers and Employees
    • Constructive Follow-Up
      • If you wish to list an alternative, use the third paragraph of this four-paragraph letter.
      • Suggest a compromise or substitute, if possible.
      • You can offer an alternative idea for the request.
  • 35.
    • Closing
      • Look forward positively.
      • Provide information about an alternative, if appropriate.
    Writing Plan for Announcing Bad News to Customers and Employees
  • 36. Adjustment Refusal with Constructive Follow-Up
    • Dear Mr. Nakabule
    • Your recent purchase of 100 health magnets for use in shoes to reduce back pain is appreciated. You have chosen the best high-quality magnets for health benefits for your customers.
    • These magnets were cut specifically to your measurements. Once the magnets have been cut, they are of no value to another customer or to us. Because of this reason, we cannot offer you a refund.
    • As an alternative for future orders, you may wish to look at our new adjustable magnets that can be used in your products. Please access our Web site at http:// www.magnet.com for additional facts.
    • Thank you for your business. We look forward to working with you in the future.
    • Sincerely ( Remember use your inside and return address with the date. Do not indent paragraphs; use full block style.)
  • 37. Employment Refusal with No Constructive Follow-Up
    • Dear Anthony:
    • Thank you for applying to The Walt Disney Studies Program for 2000-.
    • The response to the Program has surpassed our expectations, and the quantity of worthy submissions has far exceeded the limited number of available positions. As a result, we are unable to offer you an intern position.
    • We appreciate your interest and wish you the best of luck in all of your future endeavors.
    • Sincerely
    • ( Remember use your inside and return address with the date. Do not indent paragraphs; use full block style. Please note only the first name is used with Disney corresonspondence.)
  • 38. Credit Refusal with Follow-Up
    • Dear Ms. Simpson:
    • Thank you for your credit application. Helping individuals build good credit is very important to us.
    • After reviewing your application, it is apparent that you are only 17 years old. State and federal regulations state that credit may be extended only to individuals who are 18 or older. Because of these laws, we are unable to offer you a credit card at this time.
    • As an alternative you may consider having a co-signer for a credit card or waiting until your 18 th birthday.
    • We look forward to having the opportunity to do business with you in the future. Thank you.
    • Sincerely,
    • ( Remember use your inside and return address with the date. Do not indent paragraphs; use full block style.)
  • 39. End

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