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Life Health > Running Your Business > Marketing and Lead Generation

10 Frustrations When Communicating With Friends and Clients

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What You Need to Know

  • Some people are slow.
  • Some people will just never respond.
  • One way to increase the response rate might be to try a different communication channel.

We have more communication choices that ever before. We have tools to help us. We also suspect many people are lazy, thinking “liking a post” on social media counts as keeping in touch. Some people respond quickly. Others almost never. Some of these might sound familiar.

These issues often pertain to friends, but they can happen with clients too.

Here’s how I approach 10 different messaging frustration situations, based on my experiences.

1. People who respond quickly.

If this was school, these are the students who always have their hand up. I thank them in my return message. I compliment them saying, “I enjoy getting your messages.”

2. People who always respond, but not quickly.

I thank them too. There was a reason they weren’t quick. I make the assumption they were busy, often saying, “I realize there are other issues you need to address. Thanks for getting back to me.”

3. People who send a prepopulated response.

I send birthday greetings on LinkedIn. I wish them a happy birthday and ask: “How are you celebrating?” Sometimes I get back, “Thanks,” which didn’t answer my question. I give them credit for making an effort. I write, “Thanks for taking time to send a message back.”

4. People who respond sometimes.

I have about 360+ LinkedIn connections in Asia. Every Tuesday morning, I send each a message with a link to an article I wrote about prospecting. About 10% send a message back. Here’s the interesting part: “It’s often a different 10%.” I send a personal message back within 24 hours saying, “Thanks for writing back. I hope you found some ideas in my article to share.” Sometimes it gets a conversation going.

5. People who respond very late.

You must have these connections too. You send a message, and they reply six weeks later. They are often apologetic saying, “I don’t go onto LinkedIn too often.” At least they made the effort. My message usually wasn’t time-sensitive, so I explain that’s not a problem, it’s good to hear from them and try continuing the conversation.

6. People who never respond.

I have lots of these. With e-mails, the message might have gone into the Junk folder. They might not pay attention to LinkedIn. I assume they see at least some messages, and I’m getting name recognition. You might think those people should be dropped. I start my messages with, “My once-a-month message for July looks at…” This lets them know I’m not sending too many. I give them the chance to opt out: “If once a month is too many, please let me know.” Occasionally someone will say: “I see your articles a lot.” Just because they don’t respond doesn’t mean they aren’t reading them.

7. People who don’t reach out.

It’s like a one-way street. I know plenty of people who will respond if I send a message but rarely if ever (make that never) send one out on their own. This likely means one of two things: Either they have a different preferred communication channel or I’m pretty low on their priority list. It’s worthwhile trying other communication channels.

8. People who send you lots of marketing messages.

In your personal life, they might be sending event invitations or details on parties they’ve heard about. I don’t treat these like the commercial marketing messages I also get. Usually, I send, “Thanks for sending this along” because I assume they are at their keyboard typing away. Sometimes it’s about a lecture on an interesting topic.

9. People who say they will call you back and don’t.

Maybe they don’t want to talk with me. Perhaps they have bad memories or are very disorganized. I don’t call them out about it. It’s better to try a different communication channel and see what happens.

10. People who don’t RSVP.

You are planning a dinner or a party. Some people are notorious for waiting until the last moment. The assumption is they are waiting for a better offer. It’s a good strategy to reach out and say: “We’re doing a headcount for the caterer” or, “I’m trying to figure out how many people are coming.” You might get, “I thought it was regrets only.” or, “I thought I (or my partner) messaged you.” Either way, you should get an answer.

You need to be patient with people. We all prioritize activities. It takes little effort to at least send a short message back letting them know you are glad to hear from them and will send something longer later.

(Image: 13_Phunkod/Shutterstock)


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