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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Phone message courtesy

This image arises from my search on Google images for "returning calls" -- it is from a posting of someone reporting on their efforts to build a patio deck -- New Patio -- or -- How long does it Take? The story, alas, shows some of what is wrong with the industry -- with reliability, delays, poor communications, and more described. Ouch!

As you know, I advocate returning all calls asap -- whether or not they appear to have immediate business value. Even if the message is for 'rote' solicitation call, you can still courteously decline (often by leaving a voice message). And I've found much profitable business often results from returning these calls and discovering that the opportunity to purchase is an opportunity to do business -- though of course I never force the issue.

One thing I notice in returning calls, however, is how few people who leave a message have the courtesy to make it easy for me to take down the information to return their call. They rush through their contact information and phone number at the end of a lengthy message. This means that I have to replay the message one, two, or sometimes three times to get the information I need to respond. (No wonder why I prefer people to communicate by email!)

The solution to this problem is simple -- slow down, and repeat your contact information and number twice, spelling out your name if need be. It just takes a few seconds at your end, but makes it much easier for the person you are calling to return the call.

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