Why would you not answer a prospective customer inquiry?

The Setup

We recently reached out to several companies to see if they would sub-contract their services to my firm. We anticipated the prospective client not being able to maintain the level of excellence due to oversaturation of current resources.

After talking with some people in our network, we found several candidate companies.  We started with their websites.  One candidate company had a contact page that didn’t work.  There was no way to contact the company.  We found the owner on LinkedIn and sent an invite with a message about what we were looking for.

No reply, it’s been 3 days.

The other four candidate companies had email addresses and so we sent emails.  We are still awaiting answers (some type of answer) from three of those companies.  One smart owner replied later that day and scheduled an appointment to discuss our request.

Communication and prospective customers

Marketing and advertising dollars are the most important aspect of your budget after payroll.  It is the only way you can entice customers to your business.  Once you get them to the door, the sales function can begin.  Ideally, you have as many customers as possible then you can accommodate, giving each customer the attention, they deserve and need.

Too many customers, and the service you provide may not be up to snuff, causing dissatisfaction.  Too little, and you are not maximizing your return on advertising spend, and not getting customers. So, why would you not in a reasonable period contact a prospective customer and ask them how your company can assist?

SBA * Consulting gets a fair number of queries about the US Small Business Administration.  People want assistance in getting SBA loans.  We don’t provide that service per se since it is a matter of filling out the application and talking with your local SBA lender (usually a bank)/the US-SBA.  We could assist in cleaning up your accounting data so you have accurate information to give the SBA, but that would be true for any loan.

What we do is respond to each request, explain the process with the US SBA, what we do and don’t do, and warn them of disreputable companies that may claim an “in” with the SBA.

But we respond.  Maybe one day that prospective customer will either come back or refer us to someone else.  It’s called giving good Sales Service/Customer Service.

Not responding means you not only lost the sale, but any referral.  Where is the logic in that course of action?

If you remember the classic movie Miracle on 34th Street, Santa suggested to customers that they buy items Macy*s didn’t stock at Gimbels, their competitor.  Macy*s didn’t loose a sale, since they couldn’t make that sale, but those customers bought more from Macy*s since they were so impressed.


Even if you don’t provide the service or product, or the prospect is outside your geographical service area, or any other reason you think a sale won’t will not be successful; make contact.

You never know where it will lead.