When You Go Straight from “Can You Help Me?” to “You’re Dead to Me,” You Miss an Opportunity

Over the past month I have had the same experience, in varying iterations, no fewer than 3 times. 

Sounded like a topic for a blog post to me.

Here’s what’s occurred:

In each situation, I had someone reach out to me with a request. 

Each time, I responded politely and in a timely manner, explaining why it wasn’t possible for me to grant their request and offering detail as to why.

In every case I received the same response:


It’s the silence I don’t get.

As a businessperson, hearing “No” shouldn’t come as a surprise. 

And it should be seen as an opportunity. 

What do I mean by this?

Well, if I write someone and ask for something and they tell me, “No” in a polite and timely fashion, and offer some detail I write back and offer some version of,

“Thank you for your time and consideration. I hope X situation resolves itself. All my very best, etc.”

(To me, this is the bare minimum of courtesy required toward someone who took time to respond to a request.)

What I’ve discovered is that people are often so appreciative that you took the time to write—despite not getting what you want—that they reach out to you when their circumstances change.


For more on how to make the most (and least!) of opportunity, take a look at, “How to Destroy Your Next Career Opportunity in One Easy Step”