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Saying No

Please help!

Didn't find your answer?

Nice prospect who doesn't realise they have PITA stamped on their forehead has caused me to write far too many emails and still hasn't signed up for my services. That's my fault of course. I've realised I wouldn't want to sign up this person anyway because I can see how it would be in future.

A further email has dropped in and I need to say no good for me and goodbye.

Can you help me with a few phrases? Rude ones would also be OK to give me a good laugh!

Replies (31)

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By marky74
12th Nov 2019 14:13

I had one of those - one night he even called me at 11.30pm!! I ignored the phone of course.
I just said Im sorry but the work you are creating me has gone over and above the amount I quoted you for and unfortunately I will have to disengage as your accountant. Then issued standard disengagement letter....
Hope this helps!

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By Matrix
12th Nov 2019 14:14

“Since it is now our busy season, we regret that we are no longer taking on new clients. We wish you luck in finding an
accountant to assist.”

Next time - don’t answer any additional queries until you have a signed engagement letter. Our time is precious!

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By Paul D Utherone
12th Nov 2019 15:35

"I am no longer willing or able to respond to further emails from you, and would refer you to the response in Pressdram v Arkell.
(not) Yours
Moonbeam"

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By paul.benny
12th Nov 2019 15:37

Tell the client how much is already on the meter. Better still, bill that amount, even if you don't expect to recover it.

Engagement letters are undoubtedly a good thing but their absence doesn't mean you can't invoice. It may be there is already an implied contract in existence from the continuing requests for information and answers.

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Replying to paul.benny:
By Moonbeam
12th Nov 2019 15:45

No advice yet given but lots of emails re cancelled meetings by prospect and setting up new ones which were also cancelled for the usual sort of reasons. And requests for additional quotes for extra work. So it's a just a goodbye + no thanks email that I need to do.

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Replying to Moonbeam:
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By JoF
12th Nov 2019 16:07

Given the number of cancelled meetings:-

'You couldn't be bothered sticking to a plan, so youre fired'.

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Replying to Moonbeam:
RLI
By lionofludesch
15th Nov 2019 17:22

Moonbeam wrote:

No advice yet given but lots of emails re cancelled meetings by prospect and setting up new ones which were also cancelled for the usual sort of reasons. And requests for additional quotes for extra work. So it's a just a goodbye + no thanks email that I need to do.

Here's your polite excuse.

"I'm afraid that you have not demonstrated the level of commitment that we require from our clients. Given the low priority that you clearly place on your accountants, we believe that you would be more closely matched with a firm of accountants who don't care about the quality of the service that they provide to their clients."

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By atleastisoundknowledgable...
18th Nov 2019 17:39

lionofludesch wrote:

"I'm afraid that you have not demonstrated the level of commitment that we require from our clients. Given the low priority that you clearly place on your accountants, we believe that you would be more closely matched with a firm of accountants who don't care about the quality of the service that they provide to their clients."

That I like.

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By lesley.barnes
12th Nov 2019 15:41

"I'm sorry I can no longer reply to your queries. Please sign up to AccountingWeb and post your questions there. The community will be only to pleased to respond appropriately"

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Replying to lesley.barnes:
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By paul.benny
12th Nov 2019 15:52

Now we know where they all come from!

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Replying to paul.benny:
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By lesley.barnes
12th Nov 2019 16:09

Oh no I've broke cover I should have posted as anon.

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By Bob Loblaw
12th Nov 2019 15:54

"Thank you for your email. Unfortunately we are unable to provide you with a response as Moonbeam passed away last night in their sleep. It was not peaceful. Their final moments were spent gasping in futility and cursing prospective clients who strung them along. Moonbeam said a final farewell to their loved ones and promised that their spirit would be seeking suitable vengeance on the aforementioned gits. They will only be looking to provide these individuals with vengeance and their non-corporeal form will not be fielding any accounting or taxation queries during the haunting process."

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Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
12th Nov 2019 17:53

Dear X

Having now considered all the additional services you require I do not believe my firm will be best placed to provide all of these, accordingly I am afraid we will not be able to engage you as a client.

Might I suggest (Insert name of local firm you detest) who I believe will be especially suited to your specific requirements.

Yours sincerely

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By JDBENJAMIN
12th Nov 2019 22:53

In your shoes I would be simply be blunt and truthful, and tell them that their constant cancelling of meetings is indicative of not being serious enough about engaging my services, and so I have decided to not accept them as clients.

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By Matrix
13th Nov 2019 07:27

So, Moonbeam, what did you say?

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Replying to Matrix:
By Moonbeam
13th Nov 2019 13:36

First of all, thank you for the really good replies here. The funny and rude ones amused me and the others helped me think about what to write.
I have something in draft that tries hard to be kind, but states the facts and says that I have no more time to spend and do not wish to proceed. I shall dust it up at the weekend and press the send button.
I doubt Mr Bloggs will take it kindly, but you can't please all of the people all of the time.

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By Clinton Lee
13th Nov 2019 08:54

Moonbeam, I have an account at https://clarity.fm/

Clarity is a service where people get charged by the minute to speak with you. Clarity take a cut and forward the rest of the money to you.

I send the PITA (wannabe) clients to my clarity.fm page and ask them to book a call. And, trust me, if you accountants get the odd PITA, I get a lot more of them - several per week (given I advise on M&A. I've today had a one man band with a £30K profit and no assets emailing me to explain to me why his business should be worth £300K! "It's got potential!")

I have a boilerplate email that goes out automatically once I've marked someone as a PITA. It tells them to go to my clarity.fm page.

I've been on Clarity for over two years and have had none of these people continue the conversation. NONE. Given the prospect of paying by the minute they soon go elsewhere ;)

Suggestion: Open a Clarity.fm account and send the client there to book a call with you.

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Replying to Clinton:
By Red Leader
13th Nov 2019 10:24

Sounds like Dragons Den has a lot to answer for!

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Replying to Red Leader:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
13th Nov 2019 14:11

More human nature- nearly everyone I meet who has created their own business (baby) seems to have somewhat misguided ideas as to its worth- virtually always overstating/ over valuing rarely undervaluing- the process of creation and nurturing blinds them to its issues/problems in the same way a lot of parents are unwilling to acknowledge faults in their offspring.

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Replying to DJKL:
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By Clinton Lee
13th Nov 2019 14:50

Unfortunately, it's more than that.

You are right in that there's an element of 'my baby' syndrome. But a large chunk of unrealistic expectations is driven by shows such as DD and SharkTank. To make bad matters worse there are hundreds of business brokers who offer free valuations.

On behalf of a foreign investor, I was speaking with a well known national business broker about a business they are selling.

I requested a copy of the valuation, I wanted to know how they had arrived at their figure.

This was like drawing blood from a stone. First the guy who did the valuation was "on holiday". Then he was "no more with the company".

But I kept pressing them for their logic / calculation.

I got an answer, finally.

It took the better part of a month and about 20 emails back and forth. And the answer is, drum roll: "The figure represents the seller's aspirational price."

In other words, they asked the seller, "What is the dream figure you'd like to get for your business?"

And they put that number down as their professional valuation.

You couldn't make this sh*t up! :)

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Replying to Clinton:
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By itp3e
15th Nov 2019 14:06

My personal aspiration?

To issue a consultancy invoice For £500 million plus VAT and actually get paid for it.

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Replying to itp3e:
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By Clinton Lee
18th Nov 2019 14:02

If it were for £500m, there'd be no VAT. You'd be offshore by now ;)

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By john hextall
15th Nov 2019 11:17

I got this a while back when I was looking for a bookkeeper. Thought it was quite good -

Thank you for asking me to meet with you last week to discuss support and requirements. I apologise that I have not emailed you sooner.

Unfortunately, a situation arose last week with a client who was selling their business and hence not requiring my services after the end of August that has now turned things on its head, and I have got to now spend considerable time working with this client to get things back on track and carry on with the work I was doing originally. This in turn means that I am not going to be able to commit myself to taking on any new projects.

I am very sorry to have to pull out, but I am unable to find another way at present to fulfil your request for support along with a couple of other new enquiries.

I do wish you the best in finding bookkeeping support, maybe one of these companies below may be of help?

links to yellow pages etc...

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By SteLacca
15th Nov 2019 11:52

How about:

"Based on the work that you have caused me thus far with nothing achieved, I'd rather impregnate myself in all available orifices with barbed wire than continue to help you.

With best regards........................"

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Nefertiti
By Nefertiti
15th Nov 2019 12:53

Why not just be honest and say that you are unable to take on the job as you have no time for timewasters? These days you have to be blunt for people to understand why you said or did what you did, because a lot of them are born "thick".

Never be afraid to get rude with timewasters, that way they will be too scared to waste someone else's time after you have dumped them.

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Replying to Nefertiti:
By Moonbeam
15th Nov 2019 13:20

I do agree with being honest. I don't see the need to be rude, however (despite the enjoyable contributions on here). Such clients/prospects often don't agree that they are difficult to work for and take umbrage at the suggestion, and will deem it our fault not theirs. We will always be in the wrong as far as they're concerned, which is why it's worth spotting them before they waste hours of our time later.
I just want to exit gracefully, with honesty and kindness. It's not my job to help them see the light, just to explain why I can't take them on.

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Replying to Moonbeam:
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By Clinton Lee
16th Nov 2019 08:50

I hear what you're saying, but sometimes being rude does the job like nothing else can.

One common characteristic of the PITA clients is that they aren't very good at taking hints.

But they almost always know how to take offence. So try being honest. If that doesn't work, I'm sorry, but you do need to ramp up to rude.

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By richard10002
15th Nov 2019 13:30

Dear PITA,

Unfortunately, since we began communicating, our marketing efforts have resulted in a significant number of new clients. As a consequence we are not in a position to consider taking on new clients as we are concerned that we may not be able to provide the level of service that we pride ourselves in.

May I take this opportunity to thank you for your interest in our services to date, and to wish you well in your search for a new advisor.......

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By itp3e
15th Nov 2019 14:02

"You have demonstrated yourself to be a no-no so I'm saying goodbye - goodbye ".

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By Brend201
15th Nov 2019 15:00

I came across this quote recently and it resonated with me in relation to numerous events in the past. It guides me well now.

“If a person is being insensitive to you, you don’t have a commitment to be beholden to their insensitivity.”

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By pauljohnston
17th Nov 2019 06:55

AS DKL has suggested put in another firm as arecommendation. I would suggest however put in more than one including the local office of one of the big four.

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