He lied.

Recently someone said they were interested in something I sell. When I wrote to them, “We have an offering around that, would you like to have a conversation around it?” they responded, “Not interested. Thanks.”

It’s a bit perplexing. I told some coworkers the story, and one said, “He was lying from the start.”

That’s a quick, knee jerk reaction to something that isn’t seen as positive. It’s best not to assume something so negative about people you’ve never met.

If lying, why were they so easy to offer up information about what they were looking for? They could have ignored the message in the first place.

One hypothesis, and something I’ve written about before: Too big of an ask.

My ask was likely too big. They aren’t disinterested in the software, they are disinterested in the conversation. A conversation to most people as it relates to work is an hour of your time and a possible obligation on follow up information. Not everyone wants that without a level of certainty beforehand.

When you ask for a conversation here is what they are giving away:

  1. Their contact information if you reached out on LinkedIn
  2. Their time
  3. Their ability to feel unobligated to respond

Like most things, the knee jerk reaction is likely the incorrect one. A smaller ask is likely a better course. It may still not get you an opportunity, but it may get you a seed for something in the future and a better relationship in the long run.