Sometimes, communication between you and a friend, hiring manager, prospect, or client just stops. Crickets….You try to get in touch — still nothing. It’s mysterious and troubling. You do have choices, though, on how to respond.
Was It Something I Did?
The usual reaction is to second-guess yourself and analyze what you might have done to cause the silence. But since you are only one side of the equation, this resolves nothing. What you can decide is if you did all you could to encourage the relationship.
Balancing Perseverance Against Pride
More effective than second-guessing is to try a variant on communication methods, hoping to jolt the relationship back on track. Send a hand-written card, a tweet, or an e-card. If this doesn’t elicit a response, let it go. Your time is valuable and further outreach seems like devaluing your own time.
Take Time into Consideration
Chasing a relationship that has gone off the rails will drain your time and energy, and have a negative effect on your productivity. Better to focus on working relationships with friends, accounts, clients, and contacts. Just like sales, it’s a “qualify and match” approach. Less stress means higher performance and better outlook.
Always Remember Your Value
You can probably tell by now that this situation has come up for me a few times in my career. It’s frustrating, for sure. My attitude is this: your own self worth is a valuable commodity. If people go silent, accept it and move forward. It does get easier with time.
One person remained silent for over two years, but eventually wrote a letter of apology.
Walking away on occasion is very similar to a sales technique known as “the sales takeaway.” Rarely, it may be appropriate to tell a prospective client that you don’t think your offering is right for them. Sometimes, this reasoning causes a prospect to pay more attention to what you are selling!
The point is that sometimes, although you do your very best on a job interview or sales call, things fizzle. It may have absolutely nothing to do with you or your talents — but it can certainly cause distress! As long as you can tell yourself that you’ve performed to the best of your ability, ditch the regrets.
Spend your time and energy on relationships where you feel appreciated and valued.