We’ve all been there before. Somebody offers you something, it could be anything – an invite to a party, a business proposal, heck even a stick of gum. We usually respond with a “yes”, a “maybe”, some silence, or sometimes a “no, thank you”. Lately I’ve been surprised at how many times I offer something to someone and simply never hear from them again. I realize people don’t have to fall in love with everything I do or offer…but seriously? No response?
A Few Examples
A friend of a friend asked me to help him out with developing a new website for his business. I told him I’d put together a price quote and send him an e-mail. Two weeks went by – no answer. Was my price too high? Did he find someone else? Was he simply not interested anymore? Who knows. I never heard back…
I listed my Dad’s Audi A4 for sale a few weeks ago and received a call from a local girl. She was driving by my office downtown, saw that the car was for sale, gave me a call, and went out for a test drive. She said her dad would be off work in a couple hours and she would pay cash. A few hours went by, no call. I left a voicemail and never heard from her again…
I come by instances like these all the time where I get no response so I assume the answer is “no”. It’s not that I’m frustrated with their decision of declining my offer, it’s the method. Sure, we all like to hear a “Yes”, but even a “No”, or better yet, a “No, Thank You” is better than silence. I’m just interested in having closure. If I’m honest with myself, I know I do this too. I either change the subject after a question I don’t want to say no to, or just never answer, hoping they get the gist.
I realize it’s often hard to say “no” but I think we need to get back in the habit of saying “no, thank you” when we simply don’t want something or want to do something. I think people have got into a bad habit of letting the silence say “no” for them and it’s a cop-out.
Of course we can’t always say “yes”, but we do have a choice in how we communicate our response – staying silent isn’t an option.
Saying “No, Thank You” is a courtesy we can’t afford to ignore.