A not-for-profit organization I am involved with asked me to get Sheryl Sandberg to speak at our big event in November. Sheryl, the COO of Facebook, is understandably in high demand since her recent book “Lean In” was released.

I don’t know Sheryl and don’t know anyone who does, that I know of. However, I do know she went to Harvard Business School and that the alumni of this institution are a connected group, so I called a friend who also went there. She graciously offered to forward my message to Sheryl.

The message was sent and 45 minutes later-I am not making this up-I got an email reply from her. It was a short note and yes, maybe she didn’t write it herself. That said, the COO of Facebook made sure that this message got a reply. It was polite. I am impressed.

Clients, colleagues, contacts, and other assorted people find it acceptable to either ignore messages or reply to them days or weeks later. Sometimes replies say stupid things like “I was traveling.” Really? Who doesn’t? That’s why we have technology. If you are out of touch and not climbing K2 you have no excuse.

It is amazing how often people say to me “wow, that was fast.” People to take their time to reply or never do are a dime a dozen. People who reply quickly and with sincerity are rare. It’s not so hard to stand out from the crowd.

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