the no thank you.

Feedback is a gift. Repeat, feedback is a gift.

Two years ago I was invited to be a keynote speaker down in Florida in the dead of winter for a large franchise organization. My talk included a section on online reviews and customer feedback. In their case, online feedback had presented a myriad of challenges as irate customers and dissatisfied people are often the most vocal blasting the business for both imagined and fair grievances. This is especially true when it comes to the anonymity of the web.

This is also true when you get a pitch, apply for a job, sign up for an opportunity, send a letter…anything. When you don’t get a response, the feeling sucks. Made magnified by the amount of time and resources that you invest in working through whatever challenges or hurdles are put in place by the process.

Having worked on 100’s of influencer campaigns where there are sometimes limited spaces and applications far exceed the possible spots that “No thank you” email is such a gift. Year after year in feedback surveys from influencers at multiple different agencies we heard that the ghosting was one of the most frustrating parts of working in the biz.

As someone who has done my fair share of biz dev as well, the investment into the proposal, the phone calls, the questions. All the thinking and time just to hear crickets is very disheartening. Don’t get me wrong, I have certainly been guilty of this on the other side as well. I am no saint.

I recognize this and have been working to always remember what I told that audience…Feedback is a gift.

If your application doesn’t match – I will tell you no thank you and depending on our relationship I owe you additional details.

Client wanted influencers based on the east coast…
We felt that your relationship with x brand could be a conflict with something else they have coming out…
No thank you. This time we went another way.
I enjoyed the demo but I don’t think we have budget right now for this solution.

If I have a bad experience or even one that doesn’t align with my expectations I owe it to you to share that feedback. It doesn’t have to be harsh and it doesn’t have to be detailed. But geez, if we all were just a little braver we could really help each other out.

Close the loop. Circle back. Debrief. Postmortem.
Whatever jargon you need to hear to make it so.

When it is a no thanks. Pass that on.
Send the no thanks note.