My posts on getting calls returned (click here and here) continue to resonate. Here’s a comment from one executive who e-mailed her thoughts to me rather than posting them in order to preserve his anonymity. (Although actually the Comment system here is completely anonymous if you like. Have no fear, ye who enter here.)
Anyway, here are her thoughts:
"I always try to put myself in the other guy's shoes when it comes to getting through on the phone. A variation on the guy who suggests saying he has "a couple of questions" - I use my knowledge of the prospect's interests and leave half an important tidbit of information. If I know he's a sailor I'd say something like "Did you hear how McLaughlin is using his wife to avoid having to contest trials for the Canada Cup?" This works best when you know the person.
"I also usually go back to reception and say I left a voicemail, but it is rather urgent and I wanted to make sure he's not away for a couple of days. That often gets me through or gets a cell phone number that I didn't have. When the person is away, I sometimes ask to speak to their boss, based on the urgency (best if you know the boss' first name).
I brought up this subject at my mastermind group today. Some of that group’s advice for getting calls returned:
* Get used to it. Everyone has more messages than we can handle. And we’re starting to lose our guilt over those we never get around to responding to.
* If your calls or e-mails are going ignored, it’s a sign your value proposition is not attractive enough. Pump up the value.
* Keep calling. I sometimes call even good clients seven times, said one entrepreneur. But often they end up saying, “Thank you for continuing to try to get through.”
* Keep your messages short and simple. “I never send or read long e-mails,” said one. So I asked if had had ever had a time when ignoring long e-mails landed him in trouble or made him miss out on something important. “No,” was his reply.
Keep the comments coming. It’s a fascinating topic that goes to the heart of today's entrepreneurial experience.