Ever create that great proposal, deliver the value, and walk away from the meeting excited and enthusiastic about your prospect’s response? Yea? Ever have the guy not even return your phone call for the next two months?
Perhaps we all have had a similar experience. My prospect and I even serve together as Board members of a local organization. We know each other and see each other every week. Believe it or not, he ducks me like an eleven year-old on the playground. I finally let him off the hook on voice mail and said, “Listen, I’m a big boy and understand if the answer is NO and/or I’m willing to negotiate. Either way, no pressure, it’s OK to call and let me know.” I had a few opportunities to confront him in person and he offered several excuses for not calling.
The lesson: It’s a low character move to not deliver an answer no matter what the answer is. Why not make an effort to maintain good will, offer encouragement or explain why the timing is poor? As it turns out, my lesson was, “This isn’t someone I should do business with or certainly shouldn’t refer other people to do business with either.” Another lesson was, when I do see him, to be a gentleman and not make him uncomfortable by feeing like we have to have “THE TALK.”
Perhaps the call to say NO ends up with a better proposition and a win for
both parties. Or, perhaps the call is just, NO, but offers the opportunity to re-connect on another opportunity in the future. Either way, it’s a more honest and harmonious outcome and you won’t have to sneak out of the room early when the other guy shows up.