Answer Your Messages!

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“Phone messages?


Pfffft!” said she, 


“Never do ’em anymore


 . . . text me!”




You gotta be kidding. Didn’t you ever hear the NY Lottery commercials that said: “Hey! Ya Never Know!”?

That deleted or squirreled-away phone message could be that your long-lost cousin has left you a big-time inheritance, or someone who wants to be your customer or client needs to know where to send you a fat retainer check, or that your dog was just diagnosed schizoid. Okay, okay, so you already knew your dog was a basket case.

The point is if you make a practice of not answering phone messages, or emails, you run the risk of not making the most 0f every opportunity. Real sales pros (and even a few accountants!) understand this. In the long run, opportunity losses can cost considerable time, money, and energy — not to mention some valuable relationships.

But you’re just too busy, right? Wrong! You can never be too busy to respond to someone’s question or greeting or information, even when you didn’t ask for it.

The reason should be obvious, but for for the benefit of those who get themselves caught up in their own clouds of dust, I would suggest that:

A) The message, though simple on the surface, may very well have more important –unspoken– information standing behind it. (Is it worth dissing a call from an old not-so-favorite contact who has referred you into a big-money project with her brother-in-law, but didn’t want to leave that piece of information in a voicemail?)

Hey, Ya Never Know!


B) Answering your messages isn’t just a “business life – whatever” deal. It’s a very large part of branding. Your responsiveness is read by others as a key indicator of who you are and what your business is all about.

C) Every communication is an opportunity. (Two $40,000 projects in a row once came to me because I took the trouble to call back a courteous response to some convoluted, almost-unintelligible phone message from a total stranger about my services

. . . I was tempted to dismiss it as a crank call or a time-waster, and just delete it. But I called back anyway, and was pleasantly surprised to connect with someone who had scouted me out, knew my whole background, had pre-determined to hire me, but who simply wasn’t very articulate on the phone.

Does this happen all the time? Of course not. But what’s to lose by responding? A couple of minutes? Sure, I’ve probably wasted a couple of minutes a hundred times before, but this 101st time earned me $80,000.

When’s the best time to answer your messages? If you are so busy, you feel you don’t want to spare a minute during busy hours, return non-urgent phone messages between 11:30am and noon, and again between 4:30pm and 5pm.

Most people are in a hurry during those two half hour windows — to get to lunch, or to get out and head home. You can bet on short, get-to-the-point conversations.  

Emails? Check regularly for and respond right away to ones you consider urgent, but don’t waste time deleting those that aren’t until –maybe– mid-day, and –generally best– the end of the day when you’re least liable to get hooked into opening junk.


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  Hal@Businessworks.US   302.933.0116

  Open Minds Open Doors 

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