I have an obsession. I need to reply to every single message sent to me. I once spent an entire day politely replying to trolls who were abusing me for an inane tweet about the national anthem that went viral. Of course, that’s an impossible obsession and I’m in therapy for it. But, in moderation, closing all communication loops is a good practice.
A project enquiry, a job application, a proposal for collaboration, whatever the message might be, take a moment to reply to them. These are emails from real people trying to make an honest living. Say yes or no.
If you get too many enquiries of the same kind, make up a template. I use Spark for emails and have templates set up for rejections. You will be amazed by the number of emails I got saying, “Thank you for letting me know. I’ll definitely continue to read The Whole Works” in response to my letter of rejection to their job application.
It is only through proactive and considerate communication that you can build community, which is fundamental to growing your business. In my opinion, you’re not closing the door when you say no. You’re closing the door when you stay silent.