Tutorial for “Decline Orders But Offer an Alternate or Substitute Item”

Tips

Don't leave this letter half finished. When declining a customer's order, always use the opportunity to sell the customer an alternate or substitute item.

Steps

1. Thank the reader for the order or offer a compliment. In preparation for offering another product, make a positive statement that refers both to the original item and to the substitute.

Sentences

  • Thank you for your recent order of a Compostub. Every product in our line of composting equipment received high ratings in a recent article in Gardening Magazine.
  • We are pleased you have chosen to open a furniture store in our area. Doe's Office Products offers a complete line of quality paper products for today's retail office needs.
  • Thank you for ordering from Doe's Sheets. We pride ourselves on the high quality of all our bed linens.
  • We appreciate your order of our exclusive Fisherman's Afghan kit. Each of our kits offers a one-of-a-kind design, complete instructions, and all the materials you need to complete the project.
  • Thank you for your interest in Doe's Success Seminars. We have designed our seminars to teach busy professionals simple strategies for resolving conflicts, setting and achieving goals, and finding balance in their lives.
  • Thank you for choosing Doe appliances for your new home. All our refrigerators, stoves, microwaves, washers, and dryers have 30-year warranties covering any manufacturing defects.

Phrases

  • all our kits offer one-of-a-kind designs
  • all the materials you need to complete the project
  • appreciate receiving your order of
  • appreciate your choice
  • appreciate the order you gave our
  • are pleased you have chosen to open a store in our area
  • as much as I appreciate your promptness in filling our
  • designed to teach busy professionals
  • every product in our line received high ratings
  • for today's retail office needs
  • have reason to be proud of our quality products
  • have 30-year warranties covering any manufacturing defects
  • include complete instructions
  • offers a complete line of
  • praised in a recent article
  • pride ourselves on the high quality
  • thank you for ordering
  • thank you for your interest in
  • thank you for your recent order

2. Offer an explanation, if possible, of why you cannot fill the order. Use the passive voice, if necessary, in order to avoid blaming anyone. Briefly note that the ordered item is not available.

Sentences

  • Because our January white sale was such a success, all our white sheets are temporarily back ordered. We are therefore unable to fill your order for 200 white top sheets.
  • Since supply problems continued to occur with the Linen-look paper, we no longer carry it. I am sorry.
  • Because our Compostubs have proven so popular, we now have a two-month waiting period on all Compostub orders.
  • Since we want our kits to remain exclusive, we update our line once a year. I am sorry to report that the Fisherman's Afghan kit has been discontinued.
  • Because we have only recently begun offering seminars in Springfield, we have scheduled no additional seminars there for this year.
  • Since most buyers today prefer the high capacity washers and dryers, we no longer sell the portable models.

Phrases

  • are temporarily back ordered
  • because our products have proven so popular
  • because our holiday sale was such a success
  • because we have only recently begun offering
  • don't know what caused this problem
  • had some last minute changes
  • has been discontinued
  • have been in the business only since
  • if you will compare the
  • might have been willing to live with
  • no additional seminars are scheduled
  • no longer carry the product you desire
  • no longer sell the portable models
  • now have a two-month waiting period on all orders
  • since most buyers today prefer
  • since we want our kits to remain exclusive
  • since supply problems continued to occur
  • sorry to report
  • sure you will agree
  • therefore unable to fill your order
  • this arrangement has worked well for other customers
  • until we have had a little more experience with you
  • update our line once a year
  • want to help you get established
  • want to work with you

3. Present the alternative positively, noting such features as similarities to the ordered items, lower prices, speed of delivery, etc.

Sentences

  • However, I am enclosing an order form listing a number of currently available solid and multicolored top sheets. Although the colored top sheets cost slightly more than the unavailable white, many furniture stores buy them for a striking addition to a coordinated bedroom ensemble.
  • Our Linnette line has replaced our Linen-look paper series. Like its predecessor, Linnette paper is 25 lb. bond with a centered watermark on each sheet. We offer this product in white, ivory, and executive grey. As you can see from the enclosed sample swatches, with Linnette you receive the same high quality you enjoyed with Linen-look, at the same price.
  • However, our Mini-Compostubs are currently available. If your garden plot is smaller than 20 square feet, a Mini-tub is all you would need. Also, the Mini-Compostub costs $15 less than our regular size.
  • I am enclosing our latest catalog with ten new designs for knitted afghans. For an additional $10, we can match the colors you requested for the Fisherman's Afghan.
  • Doe's is, however, offering the seminar in ten other cities throughout the country this year, as outlined on the enclosed schedule. Since travel expenses for our seminar are tax-deductible, many participants choose to take the seminar away from home, thereby combining the seminar with an enjoyable trip.
  • We do offer the stacking option with all of our standard washers and dryers. Our stacked washer-dryer combination stands no higher than the portable unit and is only two inches wider and one inch deeper. Whereas the portable unit was available in white only, our stacking option allows you to choose from a wide variety of designer colors.

Phrases

  • all you need
  • allows you to choose from our wide selection of
  • although the price is slightly higher than
  • am enclosing our order form
  • am enclosing our latest catalog, which shows ten new designs
  • as outlined on the enclosed schedule
  • as you can see from the samples
  • can match the colors you requested
  • combining the seminar with an enjoyable trip
  • costs $15 less than our regular
  • for an additional fee
  • guarantee that we will always have plenty of stock on hand
  • lists a number of products currently available
  • many participants choose to take
  • many stores now buy
  • now offer the new product line
  • offer you our recent upgrade in place of
  • offer the stacking option
  • provides the same quality for the same price
  • same height as the portable unit
  • striking feature in a coordinated ensemble
  • throughout the industry this year
  • unlike the portable unit, which came only in

4. Offer the reader a simple method of ordering the alternate item.

Sentences

  • If you decide to try the colored top sheets, you may order them by completing the enclosed form or by calling our representative at 555-5555. Since we have your credit information on file, we will be able to ship the sheets immediately.
  • If you would like me to process your letterhead order on the Linnette line paper, please initial the form below, mark which color you prefer, and return the form to me so that you will receive your new letterhead as soon as possible.
  • On the form below, please indicate whether you would prefer us to ship the mini-tub along with a $15 refund or if you would rather wait for our regular tub to become available.
  • If you would like to order one of our current kits, please phone our toll-free number listed on the order form. If you prefer a refund, please phone me directly at 555-5555.
  • To reserve a place at one of our seminars, simply call the toll-free number listed on the schedule and use your credit card to pay the $50 deposit.
  • If you would like to order the stacking option, be sure to order the regular washer and dryer. Choose from the colors listed, and mark the box labeled "stacked." We will deliver the washer and dryer within two weeks.

Phrases

  • choose from the sizes listed
  • if you decide to try
  • if you would like to order one of our current kits
  • if you would like me to process your letterhead order
  • initial the box to receive our mailer
  • listed on the schedule
  • mark which color you prefer
  • may order them with the enclosed form
  • on the form below
  • or contact our order department at
  • please indicate whether you would prefer
  • please initial the form below
  • please phone our toll-free number
  • return the form to me
  • ship you the product along with a $15 refund
  • since we have your credit information on file
  • so that you will receive your order as soon as possible
  • using your credit card to pay
  • will be able to ship the product immediately
  • will deliver the product within two weeks

5. Close on a positive note.

Sentences

  • Thank you for choosing Doe's Sheets. We look forward to doing business with you in the future.
  • Thank you for your order. We wish you every success in your new business.
  • Whether you choose the Mini-Compostub or the regular size, I am sure you will be pleased with your rapid, odor-free composter. We look forward to hearing from you.
  • We appreciate your interest in our afghan kits.
  • Thank you for choosing Doe's Success Seminars. We hope to see you soon.
  • Again, congratulations on your new home. We are sure you will enjoy the reliability and durability of your Doe appliances.

Phrases

  • again, congratulations on your new
  • appreciate your interest in
  • hope this is satisfactory as a starter
  • hope to see you soon
  • if we can be of assistance to you in some other way
  • look forward to doing business in the future
  • look forward to hearing from you
  • offer you our best wishes for success in your new venture
  • please let us hear from you soon
  • sure you will be pleased
  • sure you will enjoy the reliability and durability of
  • thank you for the opportunity to be of service
  • thank you for choosing Doe's
  • thank you for your order
  • thank you for doing business with Doe's
  • think of Doe's for all your recreation needs
  • when back in stock
  • whether you choose
  • will rush a copy to you
  • wish you every success in your new business

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