Whether I’m reaching out to someone for personal reasons or a business matter, I’ve developed a new way of responding to not being responded to. Here’s what I assume when someone doesn’t reply to my message, text, or call:
I assume nothing.
Often times, I get no response
Much of this attitude has grown out of working in direct sales. Every month, Athena’s Home Novelties holds something called the Business Building Blitz, a.k.a. the Booking Blitz. During a Blitz*, I contact at least a dozen people who have expressed interest in either booking a party or becoming a Goddess or Adonis. I send Facebook messages, texts, and sometimes I send voice messages. I also follow up with customers after they’ve made purchases to see what they think of the products. Often times, I get no response. While this used to be very discouraging, it’s become something that I see differently now.
It’s not always about me
Athena’s is the only direct sales company I’ve ever been with, but the professional speakers on our training calls work with lots of different companies in the industry. Many of those professionals have spoken on this, so it’s definitely “a thing”. When someone doesn’t respond, it’s easy to think “I must be bothering them,” or “They must not be interested anymore,” but I’ve learned through experience that this speculation will get me nowhere.
There’s the assumption that the person saw the message and deliberately did not respond. While that might actually be the case, simply assuming so doesn’t help anyone. Not only do I remind myself that I’m not psychic, but I’ve come to realize that it’s not always about me. Maybe the person I’m trying to contact is no longer interested – maybe I am annoying them and they don’t want to talk to me anymore – but maybe it’s just not a good time for them.
I clearly remember when the realization first hit me… I met a very pleasant representative at a vendor event, tried a couple of the products, liked them, and gave her my contact info. After the event, she called me to check in. I told her that I was interested in the products, but it wasn’t a good time. She asked if she could follow up with me in the future; I said yes. She proceeded to follow up with me in a couple of weeks, and then every month or so even though I wasn’t responding to her calls and voicemails. While I’m sure some people would have been annoyed, I actually admired her consistency – because when it comes down to it, she had no idea why I wasn’t responding. It had nothing to do with her, it just wasn’t the right time for me, so she kept in touch until the time was right.
I constantly use examples in my own life to remind me of this: The Red Cross calls me to donate blood… very frequently. My partner always asks me why I don’t ask to be taken off their list, and the truth is that I don’t want to forget. It’s not a priority for me, but it’s also not something that I want to forget all about. As another example, I love my children dearly, but sometimes they make phone calls difficult… they need something the minute the phone rings; they spill something as soon as I pick up a call; etc. (not that my kids are constantly human hurricanes, but it does happen sometimes) – I get distracted by other things and don’t pick up or respond. So maybe the person I’m reaching out to doesn’t want to host a party anymore, but maybe they’re at work; maybe their dog just chewed a hole in their couch; maybe they just spilled coffee all over themselves; or maybe they’re just having a crappy day. So I will continue to reach out to them until they reply, and I’ll take it from there.
Then there’s that thing that so many of us are guilty of… I definitely don’t condone this behavior, nor do I think it’s acceptable, but I also totally get it:
I’m absolutely guilty of this, but I also hate that I am. I forget to RSVP to kids’ parents for birthday parties. I forget to respond to event page invites. Sometimes, I just forget. So I understand not responding, but I’m also disappointed in myself when I’m the one guilty of doing it.
It’s *my* job
It’s my job as a Goddess to remind people about refills, booking, and joining, because it’s not your job. You have other things going on in your life besides ordering more shampoo, shave cream, lube, or shea butter, and that’s where I come in. If you love something, I want to make sure you have it so you can enjoy it! While you might need a night of sassy but classy fun in your life, making it happen is probably not one of your top priorities, so I’m here to remind you that you should treat yo’self.
Let me be clear: as soon as someone directly tells me that they’re not interested anymore, I stop soliciting them. If I get a simple “no”, I will likely ask if “no” means “no, not now” or “no, not ever” because that’s way more effective than trying to read minds. Until I have a clear answer, I will keep reaching out.
*The Blitz is a day when Goddesses and Adoni reach out to contacts in the hopes of booking parties and growing teams. Athena’s randomly gives away two $100 shopping sprees – one to someone who books a party during the Blitz, and one to someone who joins Athena’s during the Blitz. Everyone in the company is on the same mission with the same fabulous incentives – it’s a great way to build momentum, and everyone’s motivation and energy is high as we cheer each other on.