I have learned throughout the difficult process of submitting my manuscripts and never hearing back, that even a “no” with feedback is a refreshing response from publishers/agents.
At the last writing conference I attended, we heard an agent speak. She offered to read one manuscript from everyone at the conference, and give feedback. She also mentioned she only accepts 4% of manuscripts to represent. While I am almost certain she would not want to represent me, I still am excited to submit my story to her. Not for the chance to work with her, but the chance to get her input on my writing.
Two years ago I had a similar opportunity. I sent a manuscript to an agent who I heard speak, and she responded with some really positive feedback. While she still ultimately said “no thanks,” her input and expertise were appreciated.
My goal is to submit my manuscript by the end of the week. With any luck, she will tell me her thoughts on ways to improve!