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Business Ghosting – It’s a Tossers trick!

By 31 October 2023No Comments

How often have you spent hours working on a proposal that a client, or potential client, has been pushing and pushing you for to find when you send it their email or WhatsApp bombardment comes to an abrupt halt. Or, you have been chatting online building what you thought was a great relationship with someone that you met at a networking event when suddenly they stop returning your messages. Worse still, you are struggling to find a job, having spent ages compiling the covering letter you press send and… nothing, not even a ‘thanks for applying’ automated response.  

Ghosting does not only happen in personal relationships it happens in business ones as well and can have an impact on your confidence and leave you questioning what you did wrong, exactly as it would if it had happened to you outside of business. 

What is Ghosting ? 

For those of you in the dark about the act of Ghosting, it is a term often used in personal relationships. Defined by the online Cambridge Dictionary as a way of ending a relationship with someone suddenly by stopping all communication with them.

Ghosting is considered a scourge of modern dating, something that is much easier to do in this day and age thanks to the faceless communication – social media, texting, emails, WhatsApp – that has become part of our day-to-day habits.

Picking up the phone and chatting is so last season for many people. Far easier to send a WhatsApp full of emojis to get your point across than have to face an actual conversation where you can hear the emotion in someone’s voice. 

Who is guilty of Ghosting ? 

According to a survey carried out by Forbes Health and One Poll in the United States men and women are equally to blame for ghosting as part of modern dating. In my opinion the same goes for business, though I do not have any statistical evidence to prove it. 

I do believe business ghosting is a top Tosser trait, but how many of us can put our hand on our heart and say we have replied to ever email, message or social media DM we have received. Some just slip through the net potentially having a bigger impact on the sender than it has the recipient. In fact, while writing this article I realised I had not responded to someone who had messaged me weeks ago about a catch up – sorry Sarah Edwards. I did schedule the chat straight away, as soon as I realised, and sent Sarah a message to apologise for being a Tosser. It would have been so easy to just brush the oversight aside and carry on but the impression that creates has an impact not only on others but also how our business and personal branding is perceived. 

Don’t be a Ghosting Tosser, treat people the right way! 

Here are my 5 top tips to stop you being perceived as a top Tosser, or Business Ghost, and to ensure your business, as well as your personal brand image, is not impacted by your actions. 

  1. No longer want to communicate with someone? There is nothing wrong with that. Send a positive but firm message to say ‘thanks but no thanks’. Ignoring them might have a greater impact on their mental health than you realise. 
  2. Received a pitch or proposal but don’t want to work with them? Fine but tell them and tell them why. 
  3. Someone has applied for a job? At least have the decency to acknowledge their submission. The ones that have just pressed a button with no effort involved however, there is a high percentage they will turn out to be a Tosser. 
  4. Do not use being busy as an excuse for not replying to emails. Busy is not a badge of honour, everyone’s time is valuable, respect that. 
  5. The haunting practice of Business Ghosting is not a trick you want to be know for. Just treat people in the same way that you would expect to be treated – Don’t spook them, Be Nice! 


A little note of thanks to Michelle Cowan for inspiring this Don’t Work With Tossers – The Blog feature with something she shared on LinkedIn last week. TB

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