No Response Doesn’t Mean No
I ran across a letter I received years ago from a two-time applicant for a TV station sales manager job. I saved the letter, because when I give talks about marketing, it’s an example of one of my hiring philosophies.
The letter rebuked me for not getting back to the person after a very positive interview. Little did the person know, that was my test.
Here’s my viewpoint: When you hire someone for any sales position, you hope when they find an interested party (called a lead) they don’t just sit back and wait. I wanted to see what this person would do next. I was a hot lead at that time with a clear problem that needed solving. Even when you are actively recruiting for a position, you measure interest by the other person’s actions, responses, questions and overall interest. To me that goes to “good fit.” Yes, I was actively recruiting for the position, but that recruiting needs to be reciprocated.
When I interview anyone for our marketing firm, one of my secret-sauce questions is, “Do you like sales?” If the person says no, the interview (in my mind) is over. We sell ideas, feelings, brands, messages, storyboards, vision boards, logo concepts and scripts to target audiences all day long. If you don’t like sales, you will not like life in a marketing and fundraising agency.
And now that digital has brought data to the forefront, the sales game is more measurable than ever for marketing and fundraising firms. The lesson from all of this is that you should never be afraid to show someone you are really interested in their business, their contribution or their collaboration. Sometimes no response doesn’t mean no, it means keep showing your interest (in unique and interesting ways).
Mark Mathis III is chief creative & strategy officer, partner and cofounder of AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising.