Please don’t ghost me

A PSA to those who do this in business… please don't. And as a call to arms for all those who have experienced a client/customer ghost you… I feel your pain.

  • Rude
  • Annoying
  • Gutless
  • Unprofessional
  • Time-wasting
  • Disrespectful
  • and really, just a kick in the guts

So why do people ghost?

Now, I’m no psychologist (haha here we go), but really I think we could all safely assume some of the reasons why an individual would completely disappear after engaging with you to enquire about your services. After all, ghosting is closely covered on business ethics. If it isn’t, it damn well should be!

  • Your price is too high
  • They are shopping around
  • They found someone cheaper
  • They found someone better skilled
  • The project is now not as important since seeing what that idea will actually cost to execute
  • You weren’t as professional as they were looking for
  • You sounded like a risky option
  • You seem inexperienced
  • You were too experienced…you’d be surprised
  • They didn’t like your personality
  • You didn’t have a big enough social media following… I can’t believe this actually happens, but it’s so very true
  • They didn’t like your approach or process to achieve their goal
  • They didn’t feel like you quite understood what they were looking for
  • They don’t value your time
  • They don’t have the time to reply
  • They forgot to reply…let’s give them the benefit of the doubt with that one.
  • They don’t want to have the awkward conversation of saying no and being talked out of ‘no’ as they fear pushy sales tactics due to previous experiences.
  • They don’t want to hurt your feelings
  • They have too much pride in themselves and they don’t want to look cheap, as you’re way beyond their budget
  • They were looking for something specific but didn’t want to have to explain themselves again
  • They don’t want to have to justify their decision

What could you do to combat ghosting?

For my own first contact communication with a potential client, it has become essential to do most of the following:

  • Talk about a ballpark figure to gauge their comfort level with that price and directly ask how they feel about that price.
  • I’m upfront by letting the client know that if I’m not hitting the mark for them as a result of our conversation or what they’ve discovered about me AND if they’re not comfortable working with me in any way (be it me, my process, my price, etc), that I’d rather them not work with me and for them to be upfront about it. Because there’s no point trying to force the issue and it doesn’t make for a conducive business relationship and project process.
  • If they suggest they want to go away and have a think. I ask them that it would be greatly appreciated if they were to please get back to me, even if it’s a no. Adding that I’ll follow up if I’ve not heard anything for a week but after that and I hear nothing, then I’ll expect the project not be considered.

We’re not ghostbusters…but

A simple message will do. Is that too much to ask? I don’t think so.

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G'day Frank

G’day I’m Frank, a brand identity designer from Sydney, Australia