They Give Us Silence and Lies


Anyone that has worked in sales knows the most common response to cold calls, and even luke warm calls, is silence and lies.

Voicemails are often unreturned. Emails go out and nothing comes back.

Or you get the dreaded responses like, “Just send me some literature and I’ll pass it on to the boss. We’ll be in touch if she’s interested.”

In other words, lies that really mean, “Don’t call us, and we won’t call you and hope you go away if we ignore you long enough.”

We want to be upset with the other person. If they would just pay attention, they’d see why your message is important. They’d know you can save them money, make them money, find them more customers, or in some way improve their business, health, dating life, customer service, or even their life. If only they’d listen and respond.

Some even take the cold-call rejection as personal. “They didn’t call back, they clearly don’t like me.”

There are many possible reasons why you don’t get a response, but the most common one is simple.

It is you. Or rather, it is your message.

Man thinking about sales pitch

We are all busy. You are busy, I’m busy, those around us are busy. We are bombarded with messages, ads, emails, phone calls, and even good old-fashioned junk mail. We don’t have time deal with it all, so we only respond to selected calls and messages and the one you sent just didn’t make the cut.  And it is not personal, because they don’t know you.

Want to know the real reason you did not get a response? Most likely because your message sucked.

It may have been important to you, but it was not important to the other person.

Most people return messages from their boss, their friends, and family. In other words, people they know and trust. You’ve not earned this trust yet and likely just appear as a time-waster. It does not matter if that is false, it is the other person’s perceived reality.

What if I mailed you one hundred dollars, then called and left a thirty second voice mail message that said “Every day you take my one minute phone call or return my message, I’ll send you another hundred dollars?” I bet you’d take my calls and return my messages. I would be of a clear value (one hundred dollars each day to be exact).

Now I’m guessing you’re like me and don’t have the money to do this all day. But how can you be of value and perceived value to strangers? That’s what you must answer. The alternative is to accept the silence and lies that will tell you, “Your message sucked. Don’t waste my time please.”


Glenn S. PhillipsGlenn S. Phillips is the author of the book Nerd-to-English: Your Everyday Guide to Translating Your Business, Your Messages, and Yourself.  You can email Glenn directly at

Glenn is also the founder, and Senior Consultant, of Forte’ Incorporated, a consulting firm that works with business leaders to understand and address the often hidden technology and business risks lurking within their organizations.

© Copyright 2013. Glenn S. Phillips, Forte’ Incorporated. (205) 985-1111



About the Author

Glenn S. Phillips works with leaders who want to leverage technology and understand risks within. An author and blogger, Glenn is often quoted in national media, plays a really ugly tuba (it even has a bullet hole) and is a fan of dark chocolate and great puns.