In the age of almost instantaneous communication, we still don’t communicate

It is amazing how we humans, separated from the rest of the animal kingdom in part by our ability to formulate complex language, still don’t communicate.

Take a recent sales cycle that I was involved with. It wasn’t really that remarkable, sadly, and that is the crux of the problem.

The potential client was looking for a consultant to help with a specific problem that SBA * Consulting was more than qualified to assist. We found the potential client because they posted their need on social media, in a realm where it is rather easy for them to verify our bona fides.

So, I reach out to the contact person (VP Finance), send some information and a sales deck which in my humble opinion is dead on target with the project at hand.


Telephone CommunicateI call and leave a message (this was the week of July 4th, so I figure an early vacation). I call back again and speak with the person. Very non-committal. That’s okay, no commitment, really no further communication expected.

I then receive a call from the HR person (I still am unsure why, and I didn’t ask). We leave the conversation off with I’ll get a phone call to schedule an appointment the following next week. I tell her my schedule, as I book out a week in advance and we were talking mid-week to start with.

That phone call never comes, and no reply is made to my follow-up call.

Coming full circle back to communication or lack thereof’ If you’ve committed to a follow-up and don’t communicate, what does that say about your professionalism (especially for an HR person)? What does that say about the organization you represent?

Now with e-mail, the stigma of inter-personal communications and telling someone bad news (you didn’t get the assignment or job) is removed by one step. But not to communicate; failing to re-set expectations, by either announcing a delay or postponement; just isn’t acceptable.

Treating people badly just isn’t good business. You never know who, what or where that person will end up; and wouldn’t it be a kicker if the tables were turned.

Communication and respect: hallmarks of professional behavior.