I must, respectfully, disagree. 'No' is a perfectly acceptable response, and I not only can well "imagine" it into my business structure, I also use it as needed. Further, my staff is authorized to use it as well.
There are times when a customer wants you to go where policies, ethics, morals and values, and even resources and talent do not allow you to go (organizationally and/or personally). And sometimes, 'no' is what needs to be said, specifically and exactly.
I'm sorry umesh, but this is the real world we are dealing with, and I've got to be real too. Suggestive, racial, sexual or violent statements or advances cannot be tolerated. Unfortunately, UNFORTUNATELY just doesn't cut it when an aggressor asserts him/herself. And yes, these issues run rampant in the business world.
Even when everyone is behaving professionally, sometimes one organization must simply say 'no' to another.
Of course for the greatest percentage of every negative transaction we do not simply say 'no.' It must, of course, all depend on the circumstance(s). Of course we use 'unfortunately'; 'at this time it is not feasible'; 'that is a great suggestion, and I will bring it to the team for further discussion'; and all sorts of other wiggly-wormy nice-nice words. Because we are CSM, we are empathetic, we are understanding, we are open to novel approaches and potential new processes and products. Of course we shy away from NO.
But 'no' should never, cannot ever, be considered taboo. It is perfectly acceptable, and it must remain in our vocabulary.