As a small business owner for 20 years now (wow, has it been that long?) I’ve seen a trend of unprofessionalism develop over the past 5 years or so that’s really accelerated in 2016. It’s the business of hiding (behind emails and phone screening.) Here’s the scenario, I’m sure all of you business owners have been through this.
New client calls asking to meet and discuss a potential project using my services, which happens to be media creation and creative design.
Meeting goes great, runs well past the original scheduled time, good discussion all around. I promise a proposal for the project.
Proposal is sent, client responds with thanks and……………. radio silence. Instead of telling me “no we’re not going to use your proposal” the company simply goes radio silent.
Not only is this behavior unprofessional, it’s just plain rude. You called ME. YOU asked me to come in and give you a proposal. Now that you have the proposal, the very least you can do is respond with a simple yes or no.
Many of my colleagues say it’s a result of the younger generation now moving into positions of responsibility that’s degrading the professionalism from companies. In my experience, I don’t see that. This unprofessional behavior stretches far and wide from young to old, small / startup to multi-national, billion-dollar companies. It’s now the norm to simply ignore a proposal rather than give a proper response.
Maybe companies are scared to deliver bad news? I really don’t know what started this level of unprofessionalism throughout the business world for such a simple task as responding to a proposal. But I’ll offer some advice to those of you who choose to hide behind emails.
Business owners are Ok with “No” or “Sorry we’re going with someone else.” It’s part of doing business. All of us own “big boy” and “big girl” pants, we can handle rejection. Besides, the sooner you give a definitive answer, the sooner we’ll stop annoying you asking for an update.
So stop hiding behind your email and phone barrier. Be a professional and provide an answer. I'd love to hear from others on their experiences.