He suggests that after two unanswered communications, you "reach out one more time" with the message, "I don't mean to hound you — but I figured I'd reach out one more time. Please let me know if you are able to discuss this further. If I don't hear from you, I'll assume you're not interested."
While the solution he proposes is reasonable, there's a special case that requires further consideration - email. That's because we can't be reasonably sure that the intended recipient received our message, even if they have in the past.
Here are a few of the possibilities:
- Today's SPAM filters are sophisticated, and accept of reject email based on many criteria. Never take past receipt of a messsage from a recipient as evidence that all messages from that recipient are getting through.
- Procrastination - your email has been placed in an "answer later" folder and forgotten.
- Your address book contains an outdated or infrequently checked address.
- After a SPAM filter update, your SPAM filter no longer considers responses from your recipient "worthy" and discards them.
- Even typically organized people sometimes allow their inbox to grow out of control and miss messages they consider important
How many misunderstandings have resulted from emails that inadvertently didn't get read?
Never let a conversation end on an unanswered email. If you're about to "reach out one more time" and the previous attempts at communication were via email, call the person. Let them know that you're calling because you're not sure if they've received your emails.
I've appreciated this additional courtesy on those rare occasions where I've unintentionally failed to respond.