One of the biggest gripes I have about modern business today concerns the issue of common courtesy. It's a major failing of not only businesses but of consultants to get back to someone in a timely fashion, and I feel that it says volumes for each as to whether or not business will be transacted between the two.
I spent 18 years working in a relatively traditional business, although most people wouldn't consider working in a hospital as traditional. But it was; we received calls from clients just about as often as those who work in other businesses did.
We received the same kinds of advertisements through regular or email that everyone else did. Business is business, even if the vendors, or as we like to call them, corporate partners, were from different fields than many other businesses deal with.
As a hospital director, I was inundated with solicitations on a daily basis. Whereas I will acknowledge that I didn't often respond to the mailings that came, I at least opened every single one of them to give them a glance. I always returned every phone call I received, and I also always responded to every email I received.
I didn't do it for the most part because I wanted to partake of the services; I did it because it was the common courtesy thing to do. I did it because it's how I wanted people to treat my correspondences with them.
I have found, since I started my own business, that I've had to develop an even thicker skin than I did as a director. People can be rude, whether it's to your face or just by ignoring your trying to contact them, even when they may have initiated events. They don't see it as being rude; they see it as a nuisance, something that takes time away from their daily operation.