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Just Say No

Let your customers down easy.

This story appears in the May 1998 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

When you were a child, the word made you miserable. Now thatyou're an adult, you know that "no" can sometimes bethe most appropriate response to a request. But how do you tell avalued customer that you can't--or won't--do what theywant?

The first step is to recognize that saying no isn't alwaysbad, says Barry J. Babin, associate professor of consumer researchin the marketing department at the University of SouthernMississippi in Hattiesburg.

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