Stop “ghosting” in business

Although I’ve done some online dating in the past, I never got to experience modern online dating (Tinder, Bumble, etc.).

And honestly, although it feels like it would be kind of fun to swipe left and right, I don’t envy anybody that has to go through with it.

One of the reasons I know modern online dating sucks is because of the pedestrian behavior known as “ghosting”.

Ghosting someone is more-or-less defined as abruptly ending communication with someone you matched with (or worse, have already met). The catch is that you don’t tell this person off, you just stop talking to them, likely leaving them hurt and confused.

You disappear like a ghost, get it?!

Well, although it’s not unusual behavior, it’s still pretty shitty behavior.

And not surprisingly, this shitty behavior exists in the modern business world as well.

You may interview for a job and subsequently follow-up with the hiring manager, but then you never hear from them again.

Or maybe you submitted a proposal to a prospective client, only to wait endlessly for a decision. Again, you follow up, but you don’t even  get a “no thanks”.

Not only is this shitty behavior, but I think it is also pretty pathetic behavior if I’m being honest.

Sure, maybe I’m a little bit salty from my own personal experiences, but this doesn’t take away from the fact that it isn’t an admiral thing for somebody to do.

In fact, there was a time where I tried to discourage prospective clients from behaving this way by charging for my proposals.

After all, I was giving them both my time and some very specific actionable advice on how they could improve their AdWords campaigns.

Was it wrong to expect them to pay for this?

“That’s just the nature of business, Benji…”

I hear ya. I really do. In fact, I eventually stopped charging for proposals because I realized ghosting just comes with the territory of modern sales.

However, we come from a society where it’s expected that one should say “no thanks” or at the very least “no” when they don’t want something.

When did people start chickening out when it comes to courteously declining something?

So here’s my advice to you…

The next time you have to make a buying decision, especially in a b2b setting, please, for the love of god, have the cajones to tell the seller “no thanks”.

I know I am guilty of this behavior myself, and I’m really ashamed of it.

I recently had a company incessantly bug me to get on the phone with them to start using their services.

My initial behavior was: ignore, ignore, block, block.

Finally, I simply emailed them to politely tell them I wasn’t interested, and I haven’t heard from them since.

By simply putting an end to my ghosting behavior, neither party wasted any additional time.

And we all lived happily ever after…

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