Bootstrappers: How To Say “No”

by Dave Gooden on 3/12/2011

Hi [VC Backed Director of Sales],

I have enjoyed our conversations and I want to thank you for putting this proposal together for us. I discussed it with my business partner today, and while we can see the potential value in your product, we have to decline at this time.

I spent some time on this evening and I have to tell you that your team has put together a great site with a ton of useful and impressive information. If you ever want to team up with a “case study/white paper” client – we would be very interested in working something out with you. We will be launching a redesigned (5.0 “New Dawn”) in early 2012 and it would be great to work with you and your team on a creative, win-win collaboration.

In other words…If you are ever looking for a guinea pig to provide you with 100% transparent feedback and statistics, we would probably be a good candidate. We have statistics (visits/page views/leads/closings/revenue) going back quite some time…it could make for an interesting case study to see how xxxxxx’s products improve’s bottom line over a 12-24 month period.

It is obvious that xxxxxx is going to be a huge success (and we will probably be kicking ourselves in the arse a year or two from now) but is a bootstrapped company entering a growth phase and our immediate plans require us to be very selective with our limited resources.

We want you to know that we appreciate your proposal and we wish you and xxxxxx nothing but the best moving forward. If you are ever looking for a case study candidate – please keep in mind – we would love to work with you.


Dave Gooden
612-866-2541 fax

cc: Cameron Henkel


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