If you want to be a professional, please write back.
Today I’m writing about a personal pet peeve of mine: those who do not respond to emails. I’m sure this happens at all age and career levels, but lately I’ve noticed a trend among my twentysomething-aged peers: apparently they don’t feel the need to respond to emails in a timely manner, or in some cases- EVER!
So please explain to me WHAT could possibly be going on that is SO important that you cannot write back to an email with a yes, no, ok, “not interested”, “don’t have time”, “let’s follow up next week” etc. within a business day or two? Especially if it is someone who is getting PAID for services that I am emailing them about! Are you still living in the last century with your old mobile phone that doesn’t have email? Do you not check your email for days at a time? Do you just not care at all?
For those who know me personally, you know that I am a natural connector: I love helping other people get jobs, get clients, get referrals, and doing anything else to help people grow professionally. Therefore I frequently “stick my neck out” for those who ask me for help.
For example, I’ve been trying to help someone get a new job by referring her to several people in my network who I know can place her soon. She seemed so desparate for a new job, so I got on her request quickly. But since she DOES NOT RESPOND to my emails, I have witheld some great leads because to me it looks like she doesn’t want/need a new job all that bad if she can’t write back. If she suddenly emails me back 2 weeks later, I will have to let her know I can no longer help her out.
Another girl has her own business. She had asked that I keep her in mind so she could get new clients and ideas to help her grow her small practice. Apparently she’s all set too, because I NEVER hear back from her after I email her with great leads or opportunities.
Unfortunately this has even been the case with vendors I PAY (a lot of money) for their services to help my business. I have had to terminate relationships with them due to their lack of response. Last time I checked, we were in a recession but I guess they don’t need my business that badly.
So the bottom line is, if you’re going to ask someone for help or you are getting paid- please write back. It makes you look VERY unprofessional and uncaring when you just ignore emails. Maybe you need to get organized, set reminders, or write it down in your calendar to respond but figure something out that works for you before people stop contacting you all together.
This advice is especially important if you have your own business. If you don’t have time to even respond to an email, then it makes it look like you obviously don’t have enough time for your clients either.