To reply or not to reply – that is the question

To reply or not to reply – that is the question

HERE’S a question for you: do you, as a senior business person with decision-making powers, feel a polite obligation to respond to people who send you a personally addressed yet fairly blatantly pitching email?

Do you 1) ignore it and hope they’ll go away, 2) take the easy option and tick ‘unsubscribe’ or 3) sigh and pen a reply? If the latter, are you honest or simply polite?

Me? Well, if it is personally addressed to me and addresses an issue which is relevant to me – and I’m pretty sure it’s not a mass mailout – I can, hand on heart, say I always try and reply. I just think it’s common courtesy and need only take 30 seconds. If it’s something which really is of no interest to me, I will say that. It saves my future time and it, hopefully, saves the future time of the sender.

Yet why do so many people in business find it so difficult to be honest and, well, frank! You’re not insulting them or their service/product. You’re simply telling them that, having given it due consideration, it’s not for you: either at this precise moment in time or for ever more!

I’ll hold up my hands and say I email a lot of people telling them about BusinessTime in Essex and latest developments. I do so because it’s a B2B magazine for Essex and they are Essex business people – you can follow my logic, yes! If they’re happy to talk with me – wonderful! If they get back and tell me not to bother them again – wonderful! I really don’t mind because we both know where we stand. But when people just don’t do anything, I’ll assume they’re either still pondering, very indecisive – or simply adopting stance 1 above!