Home Forums Other discussions Have you ever been ‘ghosted’ in business?

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  • #999911
    Lucy Kippist
    Member
    • Total posts: 230

    I’ve read about the phenomena of ghosting but not in the business context before. Which is what is fascinating about Fiona Harman’s article on Flying Solo today. She says it’s increasingly common.

    What is ghosting? Fiona describes it like this: “it is a word more commonly associated with online dating. It is the practice of ending a relationship by ceasing all communication and becoming uncontactable – without any explanation.”

    Has this ever happened to you?

    #1221822
    bb1
    Participant
    • Total posts: 4,472

    You are obviously in the wrong business if you have never heard of it before. Anyone in a service industry has provided quotes to prospects, then heard zip , zero, ziltch, even though you have put time and effort into the quote. It’s being happening for years.

    Everything mentioned is rampant and has being around for donkeys, even back when I was in the corporate world.

    Nothing new just Fiona trying to get heard by labelling it something new. The marketers must be running out of new ideas.

    #1221823
    Dave – FS Concierge
    Moderator
    • Total posts: 2,526
    Lucy Kippist, post: 267976, member: 98720 wrote:
    Has this ever happened to you?

    Ha! Many times :)
    I’m better now at not taking it as personally.
    But I still do to a degree.
    Often it’s when a quote is delivered. Or when an invoice is due.
    Sometimes they are really avoiding you, but other times their life (and inbox) is busy and you just need to chase them down harder (often on the phone or in person).

    #1221824
    Johny
    Member
    • Total posts: 840

    I asked for a quote for some products recently and the supplier provided product info and pricing.

    After I finalised an order request, the supplier didn’t reply. Think he felt the order was too small.

    Met the supplier at a function a few weeks later who sheepishly asked how I was after he heard my name.

    Thanked him for not taking my money as I found a much better quality product and cheaper elsewhere.

    #1221825
    Rowan@quaotic
    Participant
    • Total posts: 712

    I suppose it is ghosting. As an independent potato breeder I need access to industry resources but the potato industry in Australia is controlled by a single company and they refuse to acknowledge me at all, probably because they have never had to deal with outsiders before as they have always controlled all breeding work as well as other aspects of the industry.
    They will not acknowledge or answer any of the numerous times I have tried to communicate with them though email, phone, messages through their website or Linkedin over the past two years.

    This means that I have no access to the certified seed potato program, disease testing etc.
    It has come to the point that I am considering either going public with the issue or taking it to the ACCC or something.

    #1221826
    JacquiPryor
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,344
    Rowan@quaotic, post: 267983, member: 28171 wrote:
    I suppose it is ghosting. As an independent potato breeder I need access to industry resources but the potato industry in Australia is controlled by a single company and they refuse to acknowledge me at all, probably because they have never had to deal with outsiders before as they have always controlled all breeding work as well as other aspects of the industry.
    They will not acknowledge or answer any of the numerous times I have tried to communicate with them though email, phone, messages through their website or Linkedin over the past two years.

    This means that I have no access to the certified seed potato program, disease testing etc.
    It has come to the point that I am considering either going public with the issue or taking it to the ACCC or something.

    You should investigate your options here Rowan!

    Reading Fiona’s article, I’m not sure all points are akin to “ghosting” in a dating sense (as, I think ignoring contact or lacking manners to respond to a quote you’ve sourced is not ghosting (as that implies a prior relationship) but rather is just rude!) – but your post makes me think more about unfair competition or abuse of market power or similar. Not my area of expertise, but certainly sounds like a situation that is worthy of a call to the ACCC and/or advice around the body’s program and how you get that access. Good luck :)

    #1221827
    mg_spotx
    Member
    • Total posts: 2

    I actually logged on today to ask about this very issue. It’s becoming increasingly frustrating, as business is growing, and I’m sending out more quotes, that we just don’t hear anything back. I make a point to reply to every quote I receive, they take time to prepare! But I can’t even get feedback on whether there is a price/product fit/lead time issue. I’m not even sure if chasing up these leads is worthwhile anymore, if they want the product, they know where to find us(??!!!)

    Any recommendations on how best to deal with the silence following a quote? I don’t want to harass potential clients, but at the same time, I’d like to get some value (ie feedback) from the time it takes us to generate a quote.

    Cheers!

    #1221828
    Paul – FS Concierge
    Moderator
    • Total posts: 3,127

    I always set a time to follow up when I am on site and then follow up at the agreed time.

    It helps.

    #1221829
    JamesMillar
    Participant
    • Total posts: 1,676
    mg_spotx, post: 268727, member: 104003 wrote:
    I actually logged on today to ask about this very issue. It’s becoming increasingly frustrating, as business is growing, and I’m sending out more quotes, that we just don’t hear anything back. I make a point to reply to every quote I receive, they take time to prepare! But I can’t even get feedback on whether there is a price/product fit/lead time issue. I’m not even sure if chasing up these leads is worthwhile anymore, if they want the product, they know where to find us(??!!!)

    Any recommendations on how best to deal with the silence following a quote? I don’t want to harass potential clients, but at the same time, I’d like to get some value (ie feedback) from the time it takes us to generate a quote.

    Cheers!

    Are there any reasons you can think of as to why this happens? Is there a common theme amongst those that disappear?

    #1221830
    Greg_M
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,691

    Maybe it’s industry specific, but in construction it’s considered standard best practice to get a minimum of 3 quotes from suppliers and subcontractors on every item, on every project.

    Considering the ‘win’ rate on actually getting a job is low, from the lead contractor down to working direct with the customer, it quickly adds up to a lot of quotes to deal with.

    Quoting is dead time for everyone in the chain, a very expensive fixed overhead. Simplifying and speeding up the process is the name of the game. Unless they really want your specific product or service, the ‘first cull’ is all about price.

    If you have no competition in the market you will get contact back trying to beat the ‘going’ price…otherwise it’s usually silence.

    My experience has been you have to chase them up to get feedback on why your not winning, 99% percent of the time it’s price.

    The situation improves a bit if you’re selling a repeat service, e.g. plumber, then relationships and service can give you an edge and you will get feedback.

    Again, maybe it’s industry specific but my experience has been they’re usually not fussy where the quote comes from (that’s some one else’s problem down the track). They just want to tick boxes and meet a budget.

    #1221831
    SeeMySite
    Member
    • Total posts: 15

    I was having a similar conversation with someone the other day and I’m with Greg on this one. Its generally price. I don’t think it is something that you can take personally, as everyone has a price point at which they either won’t buy or provide a service. If you take out any reputation issues. i.e. a supplier just has such a bad name/reviews and the like then on most occasions in my opinion it will be price.

    The ghosting is either a desire not to be the bearer of bad news, as in you were unsuccessful, or it could be a disconnect in the way that many organisations do business nowadays. (Like Social media, it’s much easier to just ‘ignore’ something that doesn’t meet your expectation) The issue often is how much time do you put into things like quotations or service proposals when often price is the decisive factor. I say pick that battles that you think you have a chance of winning on the quotation front, and invest less energy in those that are clearly just after the best price.

    #1221832
    Greg_M
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,691

    I think the ‘why’ it happens has been well covered, but if you’re on the other end (requesting quotes) you may often be surprised how well you are received if you do take the time to let people know they missed out and why.

    Barry mentioned it, it can be a tough gig telling someone their effort has gone down the toilet but it does have it’s advantages.

    I’ve always made a point of contacting suppliers and contractors that have obviously taken the time to submit a serious proposal, and have fully explored the scope.

    Usually any disappointment at missing out is surpassed by their surprise that someone has actually come back to tell them, and why. I discovered doing that, kept them keen to bid on other projects, and that they weren’t just being used to test the market. It led to some pretty good trading relationships down the track.

    #1221833
    mg_spotx
    Member
    • Total posts: 2
    JamesMillar, post: 268730, member: 5318 wrote:
    Are there any reasons you can think of as to why this happens? Is there a common theme amongst those that disappear?
    Unfortunately I just don’t know, as it is REALLY tough to even get them to pick up the phone, let alone send an email back. Very frustrating, because we end up with 0 data on how to do better next time. I even had a google form email made up, that explicitly said in the subject, “One question quote feedback form”, and I think we’ve had one reply!!

    As someone else in the thread has mentioned, it’s likely price, which then causes all sorts of debate over whether we need to set a new price-point.

    I suspect another reason is that in our industry, companies may be getting quotes to put in their bids for jobs, and if they don’t get the gig, they don’t need the gear…still, would be nice to know!!!

    #1221834
    kathieholmes
    Member
    • Total posts: 4

    Sadly yes and from a client I had worked with for a long time and who I had a good relationship with up until that point then nothing. I know the reason as it was to do with her referral to me of a client who I deemed to be narcissistic and refused to work with. After that, no responses to texts, calls, emails – sadly however she also took with her a few other clients who hung on her every word. It’s an awful thing to go through when you haven’t done anything wrong but it gave me a reality check about not only where my clients are coming from, their industry, and how much of me I put into my client contact.

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