Ways of refusing a gift – do so courteously

Gifting can prove to be an effective public relations strategy, if employed creatively, even refusing it, at times. Though you have decided not to accept a gift, make sure that the person knows the reason for your doing so. This will avoid any misunderstanding. In case, you are thinking to decline a gift, do so in a courteous manner. Here’s why and how:

  • Accepting overly generous gifts is not usually the proper thing to do. And if there are certain unavoidable circumstances under which a gift needs to be returned, there is a way to do it. For example, write a tactful note to the person acknowledging his or her gesture even while refusing it politely.
  • If receiving a costly gift makes you feel uncomfortable or you think it can cause a potential damage to a business relationship, it is correct to refuse the gift. Doing so is perfectly acceptable. Accepting gifts as favor from clients is among the most sensible things to do. Refusing generous giving, however, must be done in a respectful way.
  • Approach your ‘generous giver’ in person. If the person might feel offended, try to sooth his or her frayed nerves by writing a letter. Thank the giver for his or her gift. Though you are refusing it, still thank the person for the kind gesture.
  • Explain carefully your position to convey why you are refusing the gift. If it is your company policy to not to accept expensive gifts, have a copy of the same on hand or incorporate that part of your company policy statement in your letter.
  • Express your regret in a genuine manner for refusing the gift. This is important if you need to maintain a continued business relationship with the person so the latter does not feel awkward.

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