Follow-up Fail.

Not long ago, a salesperson sent a follow-up e-mail with this subject line: “Am I wasting my time?” While that’s information you certainly want — and are even entitled to know — it’s a terrible way to ask for it. First of all, it strongly suggests that the salesperson values their own time above yours. Also, it almost suggests that you’ve wasted the salesperson’s time. That’s a bad idea. Beyond that, it’s a yes-or-no question. The direct answer tells you nothing. If you’re not getting the business, you want to know that — but you also want to know why. What did you miss? What could you have done differently? If you don’t find out, then you did indeed waste your time — and that’s on you.