When you’re not interested in a vendor’s product, how do you handle it?

EKG Pulse Graph with Glowing Blue Line

Our reader poll today asks: When you’re not interested in a vendor’s product or service, how do you handle it?

  • I tell them I’m not interested quickly and directly: 74.0%
  • I continue conversations until they realize there’s not a fit: 4.1%
  • I ignore their calls and emails and hope they disappear: 21.9%

Exercise common courtesy. While many of you are up front with a vendor when you’re not interested in their product or service, the 22% of you who aren’t might want to reconsider your behavior. Salespeople and other vendor personnel spend significant amounts of time and energy pursuing sales and partnership leads. When you ignore them and hope they just go away, you’re being disrespectful of their time; and, the silent treatment borders on unprofessional. The vast majority of them would prefer a fast and polite, “I’m not interested,” instead of being ignored and spending more time following up. How would you feel if you were in their shoes and your prospects and partners ignored you? Not so good, I assume. Do the right thing. Be professional. Offer a courteous, “No, thank you,” as soon as you know it’s not a fit. There’s always time for professionalism.

Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below!

Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC

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These results were originally a SmartPulse poll in SmartBrief on Leadership which tracks feedback from more than 210,000 business leaders. Get smarter on leadership and sign up for the SmartBrief on Leadership e-newsletter.

4 Responses to “When you’re not interested in a vendor’s product, how do you handle it?”

  1. Jodi Crawford says:

    I think my obligation to respond to a vendor depends on circumstances. If I have asked the vendor to contact me, then I agree I should let them know as soon as I know I’m not interested. However I receive many unsolicited contacts from vendors, sometimes for no reason other than I looked at their website for 2 seconds and they managed to match me to my contact info. They further annoy me by claiming that I asked for the contact, or expressed interest in their products. I feel no obligation to spend any of my limited time responding to these vendors.

  2. Annemarie says:

    HI Mike
    I always try and be courteous, because I have been on that end of the relationship. I do however find it annoying when I tell people directly that I am not interested, and they keep calling or emailing. I get 20+ unsolicited calls per day, and it really gets annoying when these people refuse to take no for an answer, and continue to call and email. To make it worse, sometimes (many times!) they pretend to know me or say one of my colleagues referred them – when they didn’t. Then I find it very difficult to remain friendly!
    I understand we are all just trying to earn a living, but do your homework about the company you call, and show some respect for the time of the person on the other end of the line as well.

    • Mike Figliuolo says:

      I totally agree Annemarie. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I actually just block people’s phone numbers when they don’t get the point. I know you can’t do that in a corporate setting on landlines but it works wonders on a cell!

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