How what you don’t say or do can hurt you

19 Jul

Sometimes it’s what you don’t do or say that hurts you.

This is what I am talking about:

  • When you don’t say thank you
  • When you don’t acknowledge a phone call or an email
  • When you don’t respond
  • When you don’t say “I’m sorry” when you are in the wrong
  • When you don’t do what you say you are going to do

These omissions hurt you both personally and professionally. On a personal level, we know these types of non-actions lead to misunderstandings and hurts. They often ruin relationships. On a professional level, they are just as damaging, if not more, since there is a monetary aspect involved.

Let’s take a few professional examples. Say you are a charity, and you received a donation (the amount really doesn’t matter). You don’t acknowledge or thank the donor. What are the chances the donor will want to give to you again?

Say you are a consultant, and you promised your client you would have the report by end of the week. The client is waiting on this report to make a big decision. You don’t deliver. What happens? You’ve let down the client, and you have seriously undermined your credibility.

You you get an inquiry about your product or service. You don’t respond (excuses don’t matter!). You have just lost potential business.

Perhaps you are overworked and overwhelmed. Perhaps the message got lost. Perhaps you just didn’t think about it.  In the end, no matter what the reason or excuse is, the result is the same. Not saying or doing or not being civil and polite creates a perception about you, about what you value, about how you interact with others.

Perhaps you just don’t care how you are perceived.  However,  if you don’t care about perceptions, then you shouldn’t be in marketing communications.

MarCom is about creating positive perceptions for the product/service/organization/cause we are promoting. Being civil, being responsive, showing you care are part and parcel of creating positive perceptions.

What do you think? Have you lost business because you didn’t say or do what you should have said or done?

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