This one is really for the female readers, but the men can follow along since it affects them. Now that I have your attention, I need to ask you one question: Have you gone on a date, had a pretty nice time and the guy didn’t call you after a day or so? There is a reason for this. We sometimes do not know all the rules. 

Let’s ask another question. Did the date call you a day or two later and you were not in, so he left you a voicemail saying something like, “Hey (fill in name here) I had a nice time the other night and would love to get together again. I am sorry that I missed you. If you feel like calling back, my cell is 555-555-5555.”

A day or two goes by and you did not call your date, even though he left you a voicemail. So, a couple of days go by and he leaves you another voice mail saying, “Hey, it’s me again and I thought I would try one more time to see if you would like to get together.”

Still no return phone call for the lonely guy. He feels rejected or even a little bit hurt. This is now the dilemma. Does he just give up and say, “Oh well,” and never find out what happened or does he become stalker dude who leaves 623 messages?

This is the sales rep’s problem. So many salespeople keep calling the prospect, hoping for a return call and have now become a pest. It is always a bad move.

The answer here is simple and easy to do whether it is a date or a business call trying to find out if there is still an interest level in your product or service.

The smart thing here to do is to hit *67, which blocks the caller ID and call at different times. When you get her on the phone, just say, “Hi, this is Hal and I would like to ask you one quick question and whatever your answer is, I am fine with. Really.”

“Since I have not heard back from you, would you like me to call you again? I do not want to be a pest and I was just curious to see what happened.” 

She might say that her mother died, she was in Florida for the funeral and taking care of personal business. Or she was on vacation, or even that she got back with her old boyfriend and it was uncomfortable for her to call you back.

Either way, you now know the answer and hopefully the truth. You need to know that you will never get direct, honest answers unless you can ask honest, direct questions in the first place. 

When you soften the question by saying that you are curious and would like to know the real reason, you will probably get a straight answer. Not all the time, but it is still better than not knowing and walking away from the situation guessing at what possibly happened.

Hal Becker is a nationally known speaker on sales and customer service. He is the author of numerous business books including two national best sellers “Can I Have 5 Minutes Of Your Time?” and “Lip Service.” Hal’s newest book on sales is titled “Ultimate Sales Book.” He can be reached at


Letters, commentaries and opinions appearing in the Cleveland Jewish News do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Cleveland Jewish Publication Company, its board, officers or staff.

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