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When You Don’t Call/Email Me Back, What Does It Mean?


Robby

I think that there’s something about Midwest sensibility. When people get an email or a phone call but they don’t return it, perhaps that’s just the Indiana way. They don’t want to be rude so they don’t respond. Or is that really it?

Non-response from others is one of the most frustrating things in the world of business. Sometimes it’s annoying when you’re in sales, but we’re all told that following up is “part of the process.” But it can even be more annoying when it’s with colleagues or with vendors. Don’t they want to work with you? Why aren’t they responding?

Talk to the Hand
© Flickr User Pat Castaldo

If I call someone or email them and they don’t get back to me in a week, I have the following theories. These are in the order of perceived likelihood:

#1 They are really, really busy.

While we were once a small town, Indianapolis is getting busier all the time. So maybe the reason they aren’t responding to my messages is because they have too much going on. They just can’t talk to anyone else.

#2 They are disorganized.

This is the less charitable version of #1. We are all busy, but some busy people still return phone calls and emails. They still get back to you.

#3 They are out of touch due to a personal crisis

Bad things happen. We lose loved ones, we experience illness, and we just have really bad days (or weeks.) When things go wrong, getting back to others can go right out the window.

#4 Technology is at fault.

Most of the time emails get through to inboxes. Most of the time voicemails are delivered. But technology is not perfect and once in a while things end up in the spam folder.

#5 They are ignoring me and hoping I’ll go away.

This doesn’t work, at least not for me. Because I really want to think people never act this way.


Those are my theories. But no matter what, try to get back to people—even to say no thanks.

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About the Blogger: Robby Slaughter is a productivity speaker and expert. He is a principal with a AccelaWork, an Indianapolis consulting firm.

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Wed, December 28 2016 » Uncategorized

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