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How to reject your client politely? P.S. He's married.


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Old 17th December 2009, 9:39 AM   #1
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How to reject your client politely? P.S. He's married.

I didn't know what went wrong.

To make it short. He was an important client of mine, a top management of a MNC. Basically I had no direct work relationship with him during my employment with my previous company. I met him once in an event of his company and that was it. A month after I had meeting arrangement with his assistant so had reconnected to him. He then invited me for dinner so I went, why not, just for sake of future client network building.

The dinner went well, we talk about everything. Very causal indeed. I thought he was just being friendly with me but I was wrong. After the dinner he started texting me everyday - saying 'thinking of you', sending hugs and stuff. I started feeling like Tiger wood's many women.

He's in his early 40s and married with 2 children (according to the company website). I'm in my mid-20s. Obviously I wasn't romantically involved with him. I'm sure that I haven't given any mixed signals - No flirting, no good bye kiss, no sending home. After the dinner I left alone.

It's been 2 weeks now. Since last Sat I have ignored his texts. Yes, it's only texts but I started feeling annoyed. For one thing, I don't want to upset him as he was an important client of mine, nor appear rude by not replying. However, his action to me was not appropriate (He's married).

Should I just kept ignoring him or should I go reject him upfront (in a polite manner)? thoughts?
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Old 19th December 2009, 2:30 AM   #2
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Just reject him politely. If you don't wish any further contact with him, then say so as well. Something like "I'm sorry but I don't have feelings for you in that way at all. And, I won't date someone who is married. I realize this isn't what you want to hear, but it's the truth and nothing will change that."

I've always respected women that rejected me up front *politely* and at least provided information as to why moreso than the ones that have used lines like "Let's just be friends" that provided confusion when they never want to speak to me again in reality. These kinds of feelings, to men, can make things with a woman feel like more than they really are and usually it's a direct rejection that can only stop unfortunate behavior like this. I know - I've been in his shoes. The rejection is not fun but he'll get over it.

Keep records of all the texts in case behavior from him escalates and you need evidence to prove your case if it comes to that. I hope it doesn't, but you never know what will happen even when you do things the right way.

Wishing you the best.

Last edited by Zeta4PhiSius; 19th December 2009 at 2:32 AM..
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Old 19th December 2009, 11:02 AM   #3
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egads, You dont want to upset him? Ummm...which part of People are responsible for their own feelings, dont you get? You are only responsible for how you regard them, and in this matter, why regard them? Sounds like the Client forgot how to be a business gentleman and needs a small reminder. If you allow his business title to step upon your respectablilty then he wins.

Call him out on this misappropriate behavior. Draw the line. Ignoring it won't make it go away. The typical "NOT INTERESTED" response says its nicely.
I've done it and its was enough for the client to back off. He crossed the business line when he texted and made advances. Its time to re-set the line and move forward, even if it means losing that account. No where in the business books does it say this type of harrassment is tolerated.
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Old 19th December 2009, 11:15 AM   #4
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At the company I work at, we have an interesting president. He will not ever let a client bully him. I've seen this over and over again. Once, a huge client - $2 million a year - wanted us to start working on weekends. The division president at my office was waffling because he didn't want to piss off the client. Finally, the president stepped in and said, "I don't care what he wants - my employees are not working on weekends. And if he doesn't like it, he can take his money somewhere else." The client never left but the president was willing to let him walk because what he was asking of him went completely against his principles. There have been many such examples of this and I've always admired his stance.

When this guy started texting you things like 'thinking of you', etc. why didn't you immediately say something? What you could say to this guy now is something like, "I thought you were married," and see what he says. If he says that he is married, then you don't need to reply back at all. Just because of who he is, doesn't mean that he can push you around. It also doesn't mean that you'll necessarily lose business over it, and even if it does mean that, don't give away your principles because of that. When you stand up for yourself and your values, things will work out.
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Old 21st December 2009, 1:13 AM   #5
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Thanks guys, they are really good advices.

The client has just flown away for Christmas so literally taking a 'break' of these texting (I think). Before the departure he texted me again, asking me how I was since he hadn't heard back from me, and said goodbye with christmas hugs. Ya again, I ignored.

I ignored his texts because I didn't know what to do. Thought he was making fun of me since his action to me wasn't making any sense.

But you guys are right. If he does initiate contact after the holiday, I will upfront to him say I'm not interested.
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Old 21st December 2009, 1:23 AM   #6
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I think, for the sake of future client network building, you should invite this nice gentleman and his wife over for dinner. Clients are like friends and everyone should get to know everyone. I'm sure you and his wife will have a lot in common.

Should he decline, I'd express regret but insist that business communication be kept to business subjects and not things his wife might be interested in reading.

Interesting how the real gentlemen out there just kinda sail on by, unnoticed. Negative behaviors remind me of little children. Little boy brain and grown-up genitals.
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Old 21st December 2009, 1:29 AM   #7
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just tell him that you are respecting his business relationship and his marital status and you expect the same from him.
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Old 21st December 2009, 2:44 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by carhill View Post
I think, for the sake of future client network building, you should invite this nice gentleman and his wife over for dinner. Clients are like friends and everyone should get to know everyone. I'm sure you and his wife will have a lot in common.

Should he decline, I'd express regret but insist that business communication be kept to business subjects and not things his wife might be interested in reading.
I have to agree that I didn't make my move wisely by attending the dinner with just two of us. However, I haven't thought that far because it was just a dinner. The location I have chosen, was the restaurant owned by the client's company. The staffs there know about us so the dinner wasn't really 'private' as you may think.

Still, inviting his wife along for dinner meeting is a good idea to avoid any inappropriate contact.
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Old 3rd January 2010, 4:04 PM   #9
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Dont call him out - dont assume he has bad motives to his face. There are better and more subtle ways of handling this.

I would respond with an email from your work email. I would write something along the following lines. Do it tomorrow so that it is timely (first day back after the holidays)

Dear x

Many thanks for your good wishes and I hope you and your family enjoyed your vacation. We are [put something about the work you are doing or something work related in there - looking forward to completing a project or whatever or talk about progrss find something]

With best wishes to you and your family for the new year.

If its appropriate, copy your manager or a co worker

He will get the message - you have responded but you have put it back on a business footing - if a manager who works on his account is copied it will REALLy send a message but if you dont normally copy anyone else then that may not be possible.


Now if he doesnt get the message and keeps asking then

1. No dinner say you wouldnt want to intrude on his family time by having dinner perhaps he would like to have lunch with you and (your manager etc).

or invite him to dinner with another colleague or with his wife I think you say no to dinner if you arent sure a colleague can come because he may say yes and at the last minute his W may mysteriously drop out.
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Old 3rd January 2010, 9:17 PM   #10
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Should I just kept ignoring him or should I go reject him upfront (in a polite manner)? thoughts?
I don't think he means to romantically involved with you. So there is no reason to reject him (even politely). What you need to do is just ignoring him. Do not reply any of his text unless he talks about the work.

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Old 4th January 2010, 1:24 AM   #11
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Bill the client for each text and phone call and make sure his wife sees your invoice.


Works like a charm.


The wives always understand the value of a dollar, particularly if hubby is wasting money sending pointless texts/phone calls in a business environment. Let her deal with it.
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Old 4th January 2010, 1:32 AM   #12
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The key word is that he "was" a big client.
I am assuming he isn't anymore.

You don't owe him anything.
Block his number.
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Old 4th January 2010, 7:45 AM   #13
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Dlish makes a good point. He is not a current client. But if you still work in the same industry he could be again.

I still think replying on your work email is the best way to go. If he is a client of the company, then copy in the person who works with him. If not just say happy new year, copy your manager and ask if you can pitch for his business.

By making it a business communication you say it all. That way if you ever have business dealings with him in the future, you have not totally blown him off, you have simply let him know (without accusing him of anything or putting him on the spot) that your interest in him is purely professional.
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