It's not them. It's you. — Why people are not replying to you.

An entertainer, Facebook “Friend” of mine posted a “rant”. For eleven seconds, I thought about replying to his post; but we have never met in person or even corresponded online, and I thought he might take my advice too critically. So, I decided to write a column on the “rant”.

Here is his rant...

Ok, Time to RANT...

So, how do you handle so called professionals that don’t return your calls, texts, e-mails, facebook messages or whatever form of communication you use?

Let’s assume that you communicated with a so called professional, using their desired form of communication... What is a reasonable time for them to respond? I have always made my very best effort to return all messages within 24-48 hours. Even if I’m traveling or have to respond with a message acknowledging that I received their message, but I will have to get back with them in a couple of days.... even in that case, I still respond within the 24-48 hour time frame. I have lost the technology war from time to time and have not received their message, or it got lost somewhere on the “www.interwebnet”, Facebook hell or the text message black hole, but those times are very few and far between and I’ve always rectified the situation.

So tell me how you would handle these types of people. I would love to hear your strategy. Also, answer this question? Should we publicly call out those that do not respond to messages in a timely manor? Or... create a Facebook page to list them as non-responders?

Just my rant... sorry for the length of the post, but I can’t wait to hear your replies.

[sic]

What I wanted to reply with was, “Have you ever considered it is not them?”

When you do not receive a response from a client, potential client, or other business contact; 94% of the time it is not their fault. You have not given them a strong enough reason to return your call or text or email or Facebook message or whatever form of communication you used.

Why would anyone take the effort to get back to you? In other words, what is in it for them?

Suppose you left a message for your toughest client letting them know that you had $1,000 in cash that you would like to hand to them, and you just wanted to set up a time to meet.

One of two things would happen.

  1. You would get a return call within 30 minutes asking when you could meet.
  2. Your client despises talking to you so much that $1,000 cannot get them to have a conversation with you.

If you are leaving messages similar to these, then you should never expect a response.

  1. “Hi, Tom. I am calling to follow up on our last conversation.”
  2. “I wanted to send you an email to find out if you received my last email about performing at your holiday party. Sometimes, my emails get sent to spam, and I thought you might not have seen it.”
  3. “Hey, Kelly! I am just wondering if your boss gave you the thumbs up.”
  4. “Hi Chris, my name is Tom. I am an entertainer, and I wanted to know if we could talk about any company events at which you could use my services.”
  5. “John, I sent you the agreement; and I have not heard anything since. I am calling to see if you had the chance to look at it.”
  6. Blah, blah, blah...

Give them a reason to call you back. Try these instead.

  1. “Hi, Pam. This is Bill Gladwell. When we spoke yesterday, I asked you to take a look at my website at BillGladwellLIVE.com; and I realize that anyone can say anything on the Internet. So, I asked a couple of my clients if they would be comfortable having a brief conversation with you. You will receive a call from Jane Doe, the CEO of Johnson & Johnson, within the next day. Jane has personally hired me for several events. I also asked Kevin Bacon (yes, the actor) to shoot you a quick email about me and my show. You will officially always be the winner when your friends play “6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon”. I will give you a call in a couple of days to discuss your event further.”
  2. “Jack, I spoke with a business owner that has hired me to speak and entertain for his company a few times, and I was telling him about what you do over at ABC, Inc. He is very interested in your services and would like to speak with you. I gave him your contact information, and here is his name and phone number in the event that you would like to reach out to him first... Larry Smith, (123) 456-7890. Give me a quick call, and I can tell you a bit more about Larry.”
  3. If you are speaking with someone who is waiting for the thumbs-up from their boss, then you are speaking with the wrong person. Always start at the top... or as close to the top as you can get. You may have a chance of closing the deal if your contact is waiting on the thumbs-up from their boss; but you will close the deal most every time if the CEO calls his event planner and says, “Call Bill Gladwell, and get him booked for the February sales meeting.”
  4. “Chris, this is Bill Gladwell. A good friend of yours, Don Young at AZ Company, gave me your contact info and asked me to give you a call. I have someone that I think you should speak with who could use your services. My number is (123) 456-7890.”
  5. “Hi, John. I am looking forward to working with you. I emailed you our agreement and the invoice this past Monday, and I wanted to remind you that you are saving 10% (that’s over $400) for having the agreement back to me within five days along with payment in full. On a different note, I ran into a friend of mine who owns XYZ Enterprise; and she would like to speak with you about how you can help her company. Give me a call, and I will connect you with her.”

You may have noticed that I am helping people grow their business and make money. If you can do that, they will very likely help you do the same.

Make people feel good, help them reach their goals, and you will get more of what you want in return. At the very least, they will respond to your communication 94% of the time.

On the other hand, just keep blaming and complaining about the “so called professionals”, and those of us who take responsibility if we do not get a response will continue to grow as you remain stagnant.