4 Ways to Get Them to Respond

ilise-new-headshot-bug-1-11As a “marketing mentor,” I have to practice what I preach.

That means I do a lot of follow up. I stay in touch (mostly via email) with creative professionals I want to work with, reminding them I’m here and ready to help whenever they’re ready to take their business to the next level.

If you’ve taken advantage of my free 30-minute session lately, you’ve probably heard from me!

However, most of the time, you don’t respond, which I used to hate.

But I don’t hate it anymore — and here’s why: I realized I don’t need a response.

Illustration by Ian K. Murray @IainKeith

Illustration by Ian K. Murray @IainKeith

If you’re not ready yet, I don’t need you to tell me that. When you are ready, you will respond.

Usually when someone does respond (sometimes months later and to an old email message), they thank me for being so diligent in my follow up. That tells me it’s working, even when all I hear are crickets.


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Silence, in fact, seems to have become a de facto “no” or “not yet” because timing is everything and we are all really busy!

So even when you don’t respond, I know my efforts are effective.

If you haven’t quite adjusted to this new and quieter “communication style,” here are four tips that could increase your chances of getting a response. None of them guarantees it, mind you, but taking action is always better than seething passively. Try:

  1. The 1-2 punch. Reach out more than once, like a 1-2 punch. Don’t even consider them two separate efforts. They’re two parts of the same effort, and the repetition says “I’m serious.”
  2. More than one medium. Since people are fielding messages through phones, email, social media and more, reach out through various media. For example, send a text giving a heads-up to watch for the email message you just sent. If you give them more ways to respond, they are more likely to do so.
  3. A confirmation request. This works especially well with email. Ask your recipient to simply confirm receipt so you know they got it, even if they aren’t ready to respond or decide.
  4. Be the change you want to see. Practice the Golden Rule: Don’t be someone who is unresponsive. And thank people who do respond for responding. Reinforce the behavior you want repeated, like training your dog.

For more on this, or if you are in one of these situations right now (you’re waiting in silence for a response) and you need actual language to try, download my new cheat sheet, “Don’t Be Ignored.” It provides three proven techniques to get a response, plus the actual language you can use. And let me know how it works.


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