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A possible customer from NY contacted me with a request-for-quotation. I replied back with an estimate in hours and money, defining several elements of the project.

Before that, we exchanged some emails and though we don't know each other personally, we have some "community" ties with one another.

The thing is that I am from Spain and in my opinion even if you are not interested you should reply back. I would like to know if this behavior is culturally appropriate in New York or, if in the business world this has some other meaning.

  • While it is certainly polite to respond.... there's no "requirement" for anyone to do so. – Scott Dec 14 '16 at 18:52
  • For how long have you waited for a reply? – morsor Dec 15 '16 at 13:15
  • People not feeding back when they are no more interested is the rule rather then the exception. – Harry Cover Jan 2 '17 at 17:40
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In my experience, even seemingly eager clients can spend weeks deciding on whether to move ahead on a project.

A client not replying could mean several things:

1) Your offer was financially way out of their league and they are either offended or embarrassed by it.

2) Your offer is within their means, but the internal processes at the client take time

3) The client is at a much earlier stage than you thought and they are merely testing the waters in order to estimate a budget which then needs approval

4) The client contact is on vacation, is sick, is forgetful, too stressed, lazy and so on

Next time you make an offer, adding an expiry date might speed up the process. Having said that, most clients know that they can most probably accept the offer even after expiry.

If you haven't already, there is no harm in contacting the client and asking what they think. In fact, they would expect you to do so, since you are the seller. You should be the one pushing the process forward.

  • Thank you. I wanted to know if can specifically mean something in american/english world, and as your answer address there are many options. – Kevin Mamaqi Dec 15 '16 at 16:44
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There is no law against being slightly rude or impolite, just social custom. And especially in sales cycles it can happen a lot that people don't reply for a multitude of reasons.

My own rule for this sort of thing: If you are the one who wants something, you need to go after it. If they want something, they must go after it.

In this case, you want the project. So you need go after it, you are the one selling. Just send a polite follow up.

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