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.
I 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.