Writing a Business Proposal Rejection Letter [with Sample]

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In the business world, you’ll be required to write many different types of correspondence. However, one type that many people do not enjoy writing is the rejection letter. 

It’s challenging to craft a professional, polite letter that distributes bad news to your recipient.

Proposal Rejection Letter

Whether you need to write proposal rejection letters every day or your job only requires that you write a few letters a year, it’s easier to craft a high quality letter if you follow a similar template and make sure that all of the necessary parts of the letter are included.

Although writing a proposal rejection letter might never become one of your favorite things to do at work, you can create a letter that delivers your message in the best possible way by keeping the following guidelines in mind.

Be Polite And Professional

This guideline should be a part of all business communication, but remaining polite and professional is especially important when you are delivering a negative message. 

You know that the reader will be disappointed when they read that their proposal has been rejected, but they do not need to feel embarrassed or insulted if you are careful to phrase your message in the right way.

As a general rule, you should start and end your letter with a polite greeting and closing. 

Even if you weren’t at all impressed with a person’s proposal, you can still start your letter by thanking them for taking the time to submit it. 

Avoid talking about the contents of their proposal in a derogatory manner. Even if the proposal contained glaring mistakes and looked like it was thrown together, you don’t need to point our all of the problems in your letter.

Be Clear

When you are rejecting a person’s proposal, it is very important that the reader understands that you are definitely saying no. At times, a writer can try so hard to be polite that his message gets muddied.

For instance, writing, “Our company received many wonderful proposals, so making a decision was difficult,” is ambiguous. 

Although you’ve talked about the proposals, you haven’t let the reader know for sure that his business wasn’t chosen.

Writing, “Our company received many wonderful proposals, and we regret that we were not able to select your proposal at this time,” is a much better choice because it gives the reader certainty that his proposal has been rejected. 

Deliver Helpful Feedback If Possible

Rejection isn’t fun, writing a rejection letter gives you the chance to provide constructive feedback to your recipient. When you are giving feedback, it’s vital to keep a positive tone.

Instead of saying, “Your company just doesn’t have enough experience to handle our large account,” you can say, “Currently, we have decided to hire a company that has more experience in our specific field.

The message you have delivered is the same, but the feedback is constructive instead of critical.

You might not always be able to provide the reader with a reason for the rejection, but feedback can be a helpful tool when it is used properly.

End On A Positive Note

The end of your letter is what will stick in your reader’s mind, so be careful with your closing. It’s never a good idea to burn bridges in business. 

Although you might have found a person’s proposal useless at the moment, you could end up needing their services next year.

Because of this, try your best to end your rejection letter on a positive note. You can take the opportunity to thank the reader again for the proposal, invite them to resubmit their proposal if certain qualifications are met, or simply wish them well in their business endeavors.

Turning a negative proposal rejection letter into something that is clear and professional with a positive slant takes a little extra effort, but it will create a document that reflects your business in a positive light. 

Read on to discover a sample proposal rejection letter that you can tailor to meet your needs.

Sample Business Proposal Rejection Letter

Dear Mr. Jones,

Thank you for taking the time to submit a thorough proposal to our organization. Our management team was impressed with the quality of your application and documentation.

At this time, we have chosen to remain under contract with MYO Suppliers as this company has provided service to our organization for almost a decade. 

MYO Suppliers offers a wide range of supplies that were specifically created for medical practices, and some of these items are not currently available through your company.

Please feel free to contact us in the future if you expand your line of medical supplies. We appreciate the time and effort that you dedicated to your proposal, and we look forward to the possibility of working together at some time in the future.


James Payton, CEO
Payton Medical Services

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