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Save the ghosts for Halloween

“Ghosting is an unhealthy and disrespectful behaviour. Unless a person presents a threat of some kind, it’s inappropriate not to communicate that you’re not interested in moving forward.” Carla Marie Manly, 29 June 2021

While ‘ghosting’ is a term mostly associated with the use of dating apps, sadly it seems to be happening frequently in professional situations too. We experience it most in a new business situation. It’s understandable that many unsolicited communications are ignored – like many businesses, AJ has built up a database of prospects who we believe we could do a great job for and we send out many messages saying so. We understand that a large proportion of these communications may well be put to one side and that’s no problem. (We also understand that in sales, it helps to have a thick skin!). But when the client engages and we do some work for them, usually offering some advice and expertise or even creating artwork but they then disappear, we find this rather incredible. Despite our follow ups, by email or by phone (and Lesley, our New Business Director is VERY polite) – we may still be ignored.

What is this about? Why not just say you are no longer interested/didn’t like it/timing is not right/changed your mind? It doesn’t matter why – and we fully accept and understand that things change – but to disappear into the ether without any acknowledgement of the work undertaken and time spent is just incomprehensible. And also, so very disrespectful.

With, sadly, several experiences of this, we now know when to walk away. Unfortunately, it often happens that the same prospect gets back in touch when it suits them and we start the process again. We have now decided that we won’t do that anymore as we have realised that without simple good manners in the early days, this is very unlikely to flourish and become a beautiful – and long lasting – relationship.