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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

To Nudge or Not to Nudge. That is the question.

Okay my fine friends, just a quick post today.  I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about response times and when to nudge.  I guess they figure I should know since I made it through the gauntlet of agents.  LOL.  Yeah.  Uh.  Hate to tell you this, but…all agents are different.  ;)

However, I can give you a few pointers.  The worst time to query in regards to response times is the summer. Now I’m not suggesting to not send just before or during the summer months, I’m just letting you know to not expect a response until well after school starts.  And then they'll still move in order of "first come, first serve."

If you sent a query in May, the time to START looking for a response is late September to early October. For a partial or full, start looking around mid- to late October.

For the rest of the year, here’s a pretty good timetable (obviously these only reply to agents/agencies that don’t have a no response=no policy):

Query only:  4-8 weeks.  It’s okay to nudge after this time has passed.  Then once more after another month has passed.  If they still don’t respond they are probably not interested.

Partial:  3 months minimum. Follow the same pattern as above, but I’d say you should be able to status query a total of 3 times.  It is a partial after all.  Unless, of course, that partial was a part of that initial query stage.

Full:  6 months minimum with the same status query pattern.  Once a month after the initial nudge for a total of 3 nudges.

Obviously, this was just my pattern and something else may work better for you, but you don’t want to go overboard and look like you’re a prima donna or high maintenance, so status query with discretion. 

Also, I would think it okay to nudge once on a no response=no agent/agency.  Sometimes things happen and things get lost in the transit.  So I always suggest getting a confirmation from the post office for snail mail.

Join me tomorrow where I’ll talk about how to send that requested full/partial.