There seems to be a real obsession with this whole idea of “ghosting” at the moment. I see posts on Facebook on a near-daily basis of people worrying or grumbling about their enquirers ghosting them after they’ve sent a reply. I’ve wanted to talk about this for a while now, but, honestly, I haven’t known how. I certainly don’t want this post to come across in a negative way. But we do need to talk about it because there are bigger things you need to concern yourself with! So, here’s why there’s no point worrying about enquiries ghosting you.
What is ghosting?
This spooky moniker has a far from creepy definition. The term comes from the online dating world and describes ending a relationship by cutting all ties with no communication or explanation. In business, it means a lack of response to an email. And, for the most part, it’s common when people first get in touch and make enquiries about your services.
I can see how easy it can be to get hung up on the lack of a response. Especially when you’ve taken time to send a carefully crafted reply. And I suspect that’s where the sticking point is. But I have another take on it.
Learn to let go
I’m biting my tongue very hard right now in a bid not to break into everyone’s favourite icy Disney ditty.
But, when it comes to this topic, the best advice I can give is to just let it gooooo. Because, here’s the thing. When you’re running a business (especially a service-based one), you’ll be getting many email inquiries over the years your business is active. And believe me when I say you don’t need or want all of them to respond to you.
Of course, saying ‘let it go’ is an easy thing for me to do. So, here are some ways I’ve learned not to get hung up on the idea of ghosting.
#1: Have a template
I use a template email to respond to all my enquiries. It saves masses of time, even when I put in a little personal message. Saving time with responding to inquiries means I feel far less put out when they don’t answer back. I don’t know; I guess not having put all my time and effort into it means it feels less personal to me if they don’t then decide to answer back. Maybe that seems crazy, but that’s how it feels!
I’m all about the template emails for all kinds of emails (not only the enquiry response). Here’s how enquiry templates will revolutionise your business.
#2: Have a follow-up plan
I never used to follow up enquiries, so I was always left wondering if they had even got my response, let alone if they wanted to meet with me based on what I’d said. That sense of not knowing is where that feeling of being ghosted stems from. A follow up is a good chance to remind them of who you are and to double-check that they actually got your response. You’d be amazed how many of them miss that initial reply!
How many times and after how long before you choose to follow up is up to you. I’m a single follow up kinda gal. But I know some business owners love a three-step process, and some even check back in every couple of months or so. You need to do what feels comfortable for you. For me, one follow up is enough because I know I would hate a whole bunch of those emails in my inbox.
#3: Set a deadline
As part of your enquiry response and follow up process, set a deadline with your enquirers. Be straight with them. Let them know that you’ll open up requested dates or particular projects to other people who have enquired if they don’t respond by a specific time.
Setting a deadline does give them permission to not respond. But it also allows you to accept that if they haven’t answered by a certain date, you’ll close the enquiry and move on.
Et voila! No more stressing about ghosting!
#4: Move on with your life
When you’ve got fixed processes in place, a set workflow for responding, a template set up and a kick-ass follow-up system, there’s nothing else left for you to think about. In which case, send off that response email, my friend, and then LET. IT. GO. You’ve got a whole bunch of other awesome enquiries to focus on anyway. Not to mention the client work you’ve already got booked, right?!
Need some help putting together some awesome email templates? Drop me a message, and let’s get them sorted!