I get a lot of spam. Not the autobot machine stuff; Gmail filters all that out. I get lots of emails from real human beings who want to help me optimize the SEO for my websites or to provide coding services for my web company.
I used to reply this isn’t a match for me, but that seemed to invite dialog, which also isn’t a match for me thank you very much.
Now I just delete them.
Most of the time they’re canned emails these folks are sending out to anyone who has “website” in their portfolio.
There are other people I’ll move heaven and earth to respond to. Real people, who approach me about something real. A question about publishing or the web or music. Real people who know something about me, and took the risk of putting their hand out to a stranger.
Sometimes, though, I can’t help them. In those cases, I say so.
That’s not everyone’s style.
Web forms that seem to go nowhere. Email addresses which don’t bounce, but certainly don’t elicit a reply. Voicemails which might have been left on Bullwinkle’s private line for all the response they get.
I’ve even seen calls for submissions (your article, your idea, your art) which announce right up front that you’ll only hear from them if they want to talk. Otherwise, you’ll get silence.
We’re not talking about a sweepstakes for Proctor and Gamble with millions of entries. These are entrepreneurs looking for help (or offering it.)
When did it become acceptable to ignore people who talk to us? Especially those we’ve invited to talk to us.
Silence doesn’t mean no. it means you don’t matter to me.