We all must say “NO” to our clients sometimes.
But how we say it, and why we choose to do so should be something we have determined in advanced. Strategy in Business talks about How to Say no when it really counts (I don’t think it goes far enough or gets practical enough on the how-to). And then they talk about five moments when saying no is your best strategy.
Follow it up with this Seth Godin piece on de-escalating. He points out there is no point in denying that the customer has a problem, or bringing out the legal arguments. If something goes wrong it’s more important to empathise with their frustration. Works with saying sorry too.
And of course you can talk to me about my program (Make “No” Sound like “Yes”).