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Returning Phone CallsViews: 3241
Jul 19, 2005 9:01 pmReturning Phone Calls#

Dale Leader
Since I am in the area of sales, I am used to not having my calls returned - it goes with the territroy. Yesterday I received a call from my father asking if I had heard from my brother. My father had called him 3 days earlier, and had yet to receive a return call and was worried.

My question for everyone is what do you expect both professionally and personally when it comes to returning your calls?

How do you approach returning other's calls?


Private Reply to Dale Leader

Jul 19, 2005 9:20 pmReturning Phone Calls#

Mike Fesler BizHarmony
Great question:

Depending on the industry that you抮e in this turnaround time reflects directly back to your professionalism and capability of capturing, retaining and gaining residual clients.

For my industry during work hours, unless I am in an extended meeting I try to answer in a fifteen minute turnaround.
Barring any electronic glitches, one hour maximum turnaround time. Anything less is unacceptable.
If the call comes in after 11:00 PM the call will go unanswered until next day weekends included.


Private Reply to Mike Fesler BizHarmony

Jul 19, 2005 9:42 pmre: Returning Phone Calls#

Dale Leader
For me professionally, I ideally want to answer a call when it comes in. Of course that is not always possible, and as you said, fifteen minutes ensures that, whatever the person was calling about, is still fresh in their mind. It is also always appreciated.

One thing that does bother me professionally is when someone you have been doing busines with for any period of time just decides not to return calls and drops off the face of the earth. I realize that they have no obligation to return my calls, and that it may be a result of something I did or didn't do. Regardless, my opinion is a short, or even false, explanation would just be common courtesy. Am I being too unrealistic?

Private Reply to Dale Leader

Jul 19, 2005 9:53 pmre: Returning Phone Calls#

Teddy Towncrier
Dale: I return all phone calls even when I may be in the soup. It's easier to smooth out any wrinkles at this stage than when the client feels ignored and is really upset.

Many execs hide behind voicemail and this presents us with a wonderful opportunity to 'pitch' our offer but we must be prepared.

This isn't the time to waffle but rather, deliver a short compelling idea carefully crafted to pique interest and generate a return call.

I luuuuuuuuuuuuuuv voicemail.

See our report "Answering machines. Bane or blessing" in our reports series at http://multies.filetap.com

Best to all.


Are you closing the stable door after the horse has left?
Economical webcams let you see all activity when you're absent.

Private Reply to Teddy Towncrier

Jul 19, 2005 10:13 pmre: re: Returning Phone Calls#

Leesa Barnes
Depends, if it's my mother, well....I'll return her call in the evenings. She tends to call me during business hours to discuss sales on grapefruits at one of the grocery stores. Yawn...

But I wouldn't go 3-days without calling my mom. Even if I'm going on a business trip, I'd call her before I go. If I didn't, she'd worry and truly, that's the last thing I want my mom to do. If a parent doesn't hear from their child for a number of days, they assume the worst, no matter how old you are. I'm approaching my mid-thirties and my mother still rings me (almost) everyday. My dad on the other hand is more laid back. As long as I call him at least once a week, he's happy. It's funny, but generally fathers are not as uptight as mothers ;)

If it's a prospect, I return the call as soon as I get it. Usually, it's within 3-5 hours, sometimes less. The media, again, as soon as I pick up the voicemail. I'd never want to miss out on a chance to see my name in print :)

A cold caller, well, that's tricky. I want to call them to tell them I'm not interested, but some people are too pushy. I don't have a general rule here, except to say if they call my voicemail a 2nd time and I'm not interested, I'll call them back and say so.

Overall, I return calls the same business day. It's just common courtesy. I recently wrote an article about how to follow-up without being a pest - http://snipurl.com/globeandmail. I mention some rules concerning phone etiquette. See if you agree.

Leesa Barnes
Inspiring women to create the career they deserve

Private Reply to Leesa Barnes

Jul 19, 2005 10:21 pmre: Returning Phone Calls#

Amy Jo Garner
Dale, I approach business calls and personal calls differently.

For business there are certain hours during the day when I answer calls as they come in and return calls that I missed. Any other time and the call goes to voicemail. I've never had any complaints about this arrangement.

For personal calls I must admit that I keep the ringer on my home phone turned off most of the time. I work out of a home office and I find it distracting and annoying to have the phone ringing. My family knows to call the other line or to send me an e-mail if they want a prompt response. To be honest, I sometimes don't listen to the messages on my home phone for 2 or 3 days.

I do think business calls should be returned in a timely manner, but I don't necesarily consider all sales calls business calls. I can't think of the last time I returned the call of a salesman who had cold-called my business line (or home phone).


Private Reply to Amy Jo Garner

Jul 19, 2005 10:29 pmre: re: re: Returning Phone Calls#

Amy Jo Garner
Great article, Lessa. I especially liked the idea of treating your business card like a $100 bill.


Private Reply to Amy Jo Garner

Jul 19, 2005 10:33 pmre: re: re: Returning Phone Calls#

Dale Leader
Teddy, I'm anxiously waiting for your report to be emailed to me.

Leesa, I totally agree with your thoughts about family. I mentioned this to my brother, once I finally got him on the phone, that if anytime he was to be "away" that letting our parent know would be helpful.

And by the way, our local store is having a sale on nectarines this week. Let me know if your interested.:)


Private Reply to Dale Leader

Jul 19, 2005 11:07 pmre: Returning Phone Calls#

Jeanie Marshall
Existing clients are my first priority. During the week, I return their calls within minutes of hearing their messages, if I possibly can. When they call without an appointment, they are either calling to schedule a consultation or for something that is important to them.

I consider prospective clients are my second priority, with the norm of returning calls within minutes. However, it's important to have enough time on my calendar so that I can answer their questions without rushing them.

I do not return calls from marketers. I assume strangers who leave no reason for the purpose of their calls are marketers, so I don't return those calls. We will both do better to spend our time elsewhere.

Family and friends know that I will return their calls as soon as I can. Usually they are gracious enough to alert me to how important it is to them for me to call back right away or by a certain time.

Jeanie Marshall
Marshall House http://www.mhmail.com
Empowerment Blog http://www.JMviews.com

Private Reply to Jeanie Marshall

Jul 20, 2005 12:47 amre: re: Returning Phone Calls#

Dale Leader
Jeanie, your point about family and friends letting you know the importance of a return phone call is great advice. I am going to start adding that to any messages I leave for them. I think that was part of the misunderstanding in the situation of my dad and brother that I originally mentioned. Thanks.


Private Reply to Dale Leader

Jul 20, 2005 1:12 amre: re: Returning Phone Calls#

John Hadley
I had an experience recently where someone called me in the evening, leaving a long, rambling message about how someone she met at a networking event had recommended me as an expert in how to deal with a difficult boss....(My practice is to consider my business 'closed' in the evening unless it's an emergency call from a client.) I called her back the next day, and when I asked if this was "Linda", she was extremely rude to me until I told her I was returning her call. That told me a lot about her and the problems she might be having at work and elsewhere. (The conversation we had after that gave me even more insight....)

While I don't typically return calls that I believe are tele-marketers or someone trying to sell me something (they'll call back), I also am never actively rude to them, unless they are rude to me in the first place.
John West Hadley, FSA
Career Search & Career Enhancement Counselor
(908) 725-2437

"Partnering With You In Your Career"

Find Career Resources at www.JHACareers.com

Private Reply to John Hadley

Jul 20, 2005 1:41 amre: re: Returning Phone Calls#

Scott Allen
For the most part, I'm right in line with what Jeanie said. But some days it just doesn't work out that way. I frequently work full days for clients, not just work in bits and pieces. If I'm at a client all day and have plans in the evening (or a deadline to meet, as I do every Thursday night), phone calls or e-mails that aren't emergencies are not going to get returned that day. And if I'm all day at a client the next day, they won't get returned then, either.

I also don't even read e-mails or listen to my voice mail from some time Saturday night until some time Monday morning. And if you catch me on the weekend where my son's birthday is on Friday and we have other family plans on Saturday, then I don't look at anything for 3-4 days.

So, I miss some stuff. I miss out on some opportunities. But it's a conscious decision I make. I can't be all things to all people, and I choose to take care of myself and my family before customers, and customers before prospects, and prospects before networking contacts. So sometimes people never get a return call or e-mail from me at all. Sorry, but that's the way it is. I'm not lazy, or rude, or inefficient, or anything else like that. There's just more demand than I have bandwidth for, and I'm making the choices that work for me.

- Scott -

Private Reply to Scott Allen

Jul 20, 2005 6:03 pmre: re: re: Returning Phone Calls#

Dean H.
>>>So sometimes people never get a return call or e-mail from me at all. Sorry, but that's the way it is. I'm not lazy, or rude, or inefficient, or anything else like that. There's just more demand than I have bandwidth for, and I'm making the choices that work for me.

Amen to that. I can soooo relate to that. I'm glad to know that I'm not the only person who feels this way.

Private Reply to Dean H.

Jul 20, 2005 6:21 pmre: re: re: re: Returning Phone Calls#

Dale Leader
Absolutely, to each his/her own!

Scott, I can appreciate the way you prioritize.

Does business networking only have the chance to exist where and when we choose?


Private Reply to Dale Leader

Jul 20, 2005 6:33 pmre: re: re: re: re: Returning Phone Calls#

Dave Orsborn
Great topic.

The one point I want to make is that if you leave me a message tell me why you are calling (be specific) and let me know what it is that you expect from me. That way when I call you back, and perhaps, get your voicemail, I can move the conversation forward.

In other words, "Hi, this is Bob. Call me." is less likely to get a quick call back than, "Hi, this is Bob. I'm looking for help with.... Please let me know a good time for us to talk."


Private Reply to Dave Orsborn

Jul 20, 2005 6:48 pmReturning Phone Calls#

Mike Fesler BizHarmony
It all relates back to standards of the person, the industry, and the level of prioritization necessary to exist.

The rules and the gatekeepers that many of us set up for our own particular needs is to create a level of balance so that we may comfortably function.

The person is free to choose their own level.
Sometimes; in fact most of the times the industry dictates a certain level.

If there cannot be a level of mutually agreed balance between the person and the industry, the person will be short lived within that industry.

One has to choose a workable consistent balance to function, and build from there.
Whatever that level is, will directly reflect back to the level they can achieve and maintain.

After all how many people can pick up the phone and dial directly to the president of the United States, or to other heads of states, or to major corporations, etc?

There must be a check and balance and an order for communication to work correctly.


Private Reply to Mike Fesler BizHarmony

Jul 20, 2005 6:49 pmre: Returning Phone Calls--and calls NOT returned#

George Schmidt
What I really hate is when you have been working with someone, helping them out, sending them materials and marketing tools--and then can't get in contact with them. Time, money and effort wasted, but at least I would like to be able to find out why! Often whatever the problem is can be dealt with--and corrected.

I had one gal in Texas that I had been working with. She had been recruited by someone else that had not provided her with adequate support. I even sent her a duplicate information package because she was on vacation and didn't have her materials with her that I had sent to her home. She was concerned about losing her associate fee because she could not get to the training class on time, since she was out of town for an extended period. After sending her a new package of marketing materials to her vacation address, and giving her information on alternate training locations, she stopped accepting my emails.

After calling the company, I found out that she had sent in a letter cancelling her associate application--now she is out for a minimum of six months. If she had just returned my calls--before she sent the letter, the problem could have been solved.

By sending in a cancellation letter, she might have just ensured that she would lose her associate fee (I hope she got a refund because refunds are made if done within the alloted time period), but worse, she lost the potential commissions she would have earned!

Now, I would just like a return call to find out what happened and why! She doesn't return my phone calls. HATE THAT!

George Schmidt

Private Reply to George Schmidt

Jul 20, 2005 7:00 pmre: Returning Phone Calls--and calls NOT returned#

Dale Leader
This also relates to email. On a monthly basis, I send a "friendly reminder" email to my existing advertisers, letting them know of the impending deadline for our magazine, which recently was July 11th. As mentioned above, we all have busy schedules and prioritize how we use our time. I feel that this email is far less time consuming and annoying for my clients.

This morning I got a reply from an email I sent on July 6th! This customer was concerned about the status of their ad, and whether or not they had missed the deadline.

I guess I'm wondering how we feel our time is better spent, for instance, replying to this thread or even all of the monotonous post wishing "Happy Birthdays" or "Welcome to the Network" and not attending to the business at hand or maybe taking that call that could lead to business???


Private Reply to Dale Leader

Jul 20, 2005 7:42 pmHow do you format your outgoing voice-mail message?#

Jennifer Lavender
I have read each post on returning calls with interest and although I'm not a phone person, hate being on the phone any longer than I have to. I do understand the importance of returning calls.

Of course, I've recently been on the other side of the coin - the one leaving messages - and became very frustrated very quickly when things were not handled in a manner that I would consider even slightly professional. In fact, if it weren't for the fact that our family is without insurance and I need Medicaid coverage for my daughter and my pregnancy, I would have given up on contacting these people all together.

Anyway, my question now is, what does your voice-mail message say? I know there were several things about the messages I was hearing on a regular basis that bothered me, so I'm curious about how you handle your message.

First, after the whole sorry I can't take your call, leave this info, blah, blah, blah portion of her message, my caseworker's message said, "I try to return all calls within 48 hours..." Now, is it customary to state how soon you will try to call them back? I found it nice to know that even if she was busy she would try to return my call within 2 days (I usually gave her 2 business days before calling back), but slightly annoying that it said she would only "try" to call back within that time, not guaranteeing a call at all, and I often found myself calling her every two days waiting for a call back.

Next came the phrase, "...but if I don't you can contact my supervisor at..." Now, this one phrase made me feel like she had no intent to actually calling me back. It almost felt like she was taunting me to go ahead and tell her supervisor about how she didn't return my calls. So, do you include an alternate phone number or method of contact? What methods would be considered appropriate?

Now, every time I would call my caseworker, I would immediately hang up and call the supervisor. Her message was much shorter and only asked to leave a message and she would call back within 24 hours if possible. That was slightly more encouraging than the "I will try but if I don't" message, but I still didn't get any calls back from her.

Fortunately, everything did get straightened out eventually. An application process, that once they had all the paperwork from me, should have only taken a few minutes to enter the information was spread out over about two months because these people couldn't return my phone call. Instead of calling me and talking to me, they would just pull up my case, see that Medicaid was active since my daughter was already covered, and completely ignore the fact that I was asking about the status of my own application. Then they would just decide that no action needed to be taken and not even call me to confirm that decision.

Anyway, sorry to ramble. I'm just really frustrated with the whole leaving a message thing recently and am wondering what I can do to make sure my outgoing message isn't going to say anything that is going to make people even more upset than they may already be if I don't immediately call back or decide it's not a high enough priority to call back at all.

Private Reply to Jennifer Lavender

Jul 20, 2005 8:12 pmre: How do you format your outgoing voice-mail message?#

Dale Leader
The message people hear when I am unable to take their call is: "Thank you for calling Dale at XXX, Inc., sorry that I'm unable to take your call right now. Please leave you phone # and the state you are calling from, and I will be sure to return your call as soon as possible.

I want to keep it short, because I apppreciate not having to listen to a lengthy message or go through all kinds of prompts. I ask for the state, so that is I can't get back to them until the next day, I will know the earliest time to contact them according to their time zone.

When I must leave a voice mail: Hi (their name) this is Dale with XXX,Inc.(my phone #)(short reason for my call)(let them know when I will be available to take their call)(leave my phone # again) Thanks for your time (their name).

It's important to me to be short with my message, talk slow and clear enough so that they can write down the message if needed, and repeat my phone number in the beginning and end of message. Also addressing them by name more than once makes it more personal and friendy.


Private Reply to Dale Leader

Aug 02, 2005 5:37 pmre: How do you format your outgoing voice-mail message?#

Deborah Martin
I'm jumping in a little late on this one. I've been in the northern bush with no access to phone or email. Big Grin :)!

When I'm not on an adventure, I try to return calls within 24 hours. If someone I do not know leaves me a voice message with no reason for their call, I may not return that call.

What I do, however, is change my voice message every day. Without getting too elaborate, I let callers know what my schedule for that day is like. For instance, "I'm in all day so this message means I've just stepped out for a few minutes or I'm on the other line," or "I'll be out all morning, back in the afternoon," or, "After 4:00 p.m. Eastern, you've missed me for the day," etc. This gives callers something to go on and they're not wondering when I'll get back to them. It also gives me some breathing room.

And I always ask callers to leave a message, a phone number and the time zone they are calling from (my business is international). It's important for me to have a phone number, even if I know the person who is calling and I already have their number. Sometimes I'm checking messages with my cell phone and it's not always easy or possible to look up someone's phone number. I love it when someone says something like, "This is your good friend Deb," and then they rattle off their phone number at the end of the message even though they know I've probably memorized it. It's just so convenient.

Your Good Friend, Deb

p.s. I live in the sticks and caller ID has not arrived here yet.

Private Reply to Deborah Martin

Mar 09, 2008 3:48 pmReturn my phone call please at your earliest convenience#

Paul Finkelstein
The phone.
I have noticed that EMAIL is preferred.
I have booked 89% roughly speaking of my appointments for shoots thru pure EMAIL and NO phone whatso ever!
Anyone do this also?

* SKYPE ID: Paul.Steven.Photography.llc "Put Your BEST Face Forward!"
"Live Where The Sun Spends The Winter On The Beaches Of The World!"
* http://paulstevenphotography.com/ "Pictures Are Forever!"
* http://www.ryze.com/posttopic.php?topicid=924302&confid=3359 XXTRA-ORDINARY!

Private Reply to Paul Finkelstein

Mar 09, 2008 9:27 pmre: Return my phone call please at your earliest convenience#

Ingrid Webster
In reply to Paul's post:

I believe it is a matter of preference. Phone calls can often be distracting when you're with a client, but then you don't want to miss the other caller either. Some people will switch over to the other line or answer their cell phone while on the landline and vice versa.
It is true that today has a variety of communications tools available, and one can make use of them in many ways, as long as rules of etiquette (and common sense) are observed.
I am an email person myself and there are a number of pragmatic reasons as well as convenience. I'm a night owl. But I would never call someone after 8:00pm, and I usually don't answer calls that late either.
And just because everybody has a cell phone doesn't mean that this person has to be available at any minute during the day.
Especially in business is it important to plan and lay out your day. With email it is so much easier and clarification via pictures, links etc. is a plus. Of course I realize that it can't be done with every profession, but to me it's a great tool.

Happy emailing to all!

Ingrid Webster
The Neverending Necklace
"A String of Love and Peace going around the World!"

Private Reply to Ingrid Webster

Mar 10, 2008 8:40 pmre: re: Return my phone call please at your earliest convenience#

Marielena Alvarez
My preferred method of communication is e-mail, text message or Instant Messenger (IM). If you want a quicker response, e-mail, text or IM me.

Now for some pet peeves:

Ladies, if you don't want to be bothered by your PDA, buy a Motorola Q. Keep it in a purse and you won't hear it ring buried in there. An honest excuse! When will cell phone companies come up with a cute way for women to "wear" their phones? The cases are made wrong, the phone is squished to the point it "calls" for help! All the cases are designed for men with belt loops. Women's clothing and purses aren't designed for these wide PDAs.

Clueless folks who have no clue what not to send via office e-mail!

No chain letters, everyone hates that stuff. No threats should accompany them or ask me to forward them back to the clueless sender, I don't have the time to waste on this crap, even if I like you.

I hate being stuck on the phone for any length of time and certain folks can rattle on for hours! If I had a comfortable hands free headset (that worked in the basement) for the home phone, I might take more calls.

I hate those Bluetooth "borg implants" many are sporting. So far I have not been able to find a comfortable earpiece at any price. Leave the ear pain behind and free yourself from this nonsense. Cell phone stores should only sell you what you want/need, not all the assessories (designed for men) you don't want or need!

Don't get me started on the Nextel Noise of the hands free speaker cell phone, and the clueless obnoxious people who use them! Okay, great for the construction site, police officer or security guard on rounds. I can accidently turn this thing on and can't find a way to permanently disable it!

It is important to establish that your time is valuable and ask callers to leave a brief message, but include what you need from them. I write a script to read before I change me answering machine nessage.

I want to know the purpose of your call, especially if I do not know the caller, or I ignore the call. If someone is secretive, I never call back. Sorry, but "an urgent business matter" is not enough information and an automated message always gets ignored. Callers should know if they call my home or office phone and how much information they should leave, if they bother to listen to the outgoing message.

I have Caller ID, so I see who is calling and decide whether to answer or call them back at my convenience. Incoming calls with no information, will never hear my voice. Hate automated calls? If they are placed by a computer, it can tell if a person or machine answers and then have a human call back and harass you at the time of day someone is at home. This is something used by debt collectors, so heads up if you are avoiding these kinds of calls.

One friend is lonely and calls to chat about nothing. He showed up unannounced yesterday (because I wasn't picking up) and caught us at home. He has home, office and cell numbers and will call my other half if he can't get me. I rarely answer his calls. My other half gets after me for not taking the calls, so I let him field then for me. Weekends are family time! We informed him we were on our way out (true), so he didn't hang around chatting for too long. I explained that we were in the shower earlier and didn't hear the phones ring and explained that on weekends we run errands and are in and out.

There are some family members with whom I do not care to converse. I chewed out my younger brother for giving my older brother my cell phone number. Giving out any of my numbers without permission is one way to get on my bad side. I wish the older brother didn't have my e-mail addresses either because he bombards me with junk, related to his conservative, political views (which I do not share). Most goes in a folder called Junk from ******

My cousin chats about everything from her dogs, to genealogy to how unhappy she is with her husband. She is on disability and stays at home all day with her dogs, rather than getting out to join a few special interest groups. How I wish she would use Instant Messenger or e-mail. My other half had to get on the line to let me know breakfast was ready and rescue me this weekend.

Mom used to love to talk, we would chat for an hour at a time. Since she remarried, she never talks for long and frankly I miss it! She is 76 and very old school, writes letters, sends me articles. How she found a man, is a mystery as she doesn't drive, isn't into online dating and only goes out for doctor appointments and to shop! They only have dial-up at home, but I wish she would get interested in doing genealogy online as it would help her connect with family and friends around the globe. She would be great at keeping on top of the many family websites I have little time to maintain. It would open up a whole new world for her. Before he died, my dad enjoyed seeing all my photos from CDS, which I would bring and play for him on my laptop. Mom's new husband had e-mail and enjoyed communicating with his family that way, if only he could teach mom and get her online!

When I am at work, I have my IM with "Busy - at the office" so folks only contact me if it is important. At home I love to chat, but not many folks have to time. It is a great way to keep in touch.

Enough to make us all think before picking up the phone, forwarding a chain letter or calling on the weekend or late at night/early in the morning.

Private Reply to Marielena Alvarez

Mar 10, 2008 11:05 pmre: re: re: Return my phone call please at your earliest convenience#

Reg Charie
As I am approaching "Deaf As A Post" status I do not like using the phone.
>>If I had a comfortable hands free headset (that worked in the basement) for the home phone, I might take more calls.
I use a headset with a plug for my wireless handset.

I don't have a cell, but as an internet hermit, I don't get out of my cave much.

I prefer IM with important documents sent via email or uploaded to secure ftp, client's choice.

>>Don't get me started on the Nextel Noise of the hands free speaker cell phone,

ANY system that uses an open mic and amplified incoming audio is a mess due to feedback and echo.

If you want to use an amplified incoming you have to use a system with a PTT button (Push To Talk).
If you have a group that you want to chat with a lot, consider getting the free TeamSpeak server and client.. It has excellent audio. http://www.goteamspeak.com/?page=downloads

Reg - Online since before Al Gore "invented" the internet.
All You Need is Dotcom-Productions and a Dream. http://dotcom-productions.com
Zero Grief Hosting -

Private Reply to Reg Charie

Mar 25, 2008 6:09 amre: re: re: re: Return my phone call please at your earliest convenience#

Walter Paul Bebirian
perhaps the next step is to develop more acute skills of ESP - thus doing away with an external device that may be a hinderance to any of the technology already built into our human bodies!


Private Reply to Walter Paul Bebirian

Mar 25, 2008 8:02 pmre: Return my phone call please at your earliest convenience#

Kenneth King
I've been in sales for most of my career and have noticed in the last few years, clients are more and more distrustful of people on the phone.

They're quick to dismiss all sales calls as scams and unless they have something tangible to rely on, meeting with them is next to impossible.

If I am able to get someone on the phone, 90% want something emailed to them or a website to go to before they'll give you the courtesy of talking with you.

The phone is a dying medium, so all industries, not just sales are going to have to get internet savy or die out like the dinosaurs.

Ken King

Private Reply to Kenneth King

Jul 07, 2008 2:04 pmReturn my phone call please at your earliest convenience#

Paul Finkelstein

Hi Virtual Hanshakers,

Got a little survey or question for you all.
I assume you all are IN business of your own or are a professional working for someones business.
Answer these questions in this TOPIC how you spend your day.
I can't wait to hear some responses!! :)

What percent of the time do you USE the telephone as part of your marketing plans?

Less than 3%
Never - I use email only these days

How much time would you use the phone for business marketing plans?

More than 2 hours
less than 2 hours
ALL day
Less than 1/2 an hour

Kindest regards,
Putting my best FACE forward!
I spend no more than 2 hours for phone followup and I might spend 30% or less on the phone. the other time I spend completing orders, admin, paperwork, etc etc.
You? Answer some questions for me, P L E A S E. :)
I said the magic word! :)

"Put Your BEST Face Forward! BIG SMILE :) HUGE!"
"Live Where The Sun Spends The Winter On The Beaches Of The World!"
* http://paulstevenphotography.com/ "Pictures Are Forever!"

Private Reply to Paul Finkelstein

Jul 07, 2008 5:31 pmre: Return my phone call please at your earliest convenience#

Ingrid Webster
Very good question Paul, and interesting.

I rarely use the phone for many good reasons, one of them being convenience. Email is the way to go (I don't mass email), because I can focus better on what I would like to convey. I won't get interrupted, and I can make my writing personal enough to be interesting for my prospect. Plus it's considerate because I don't have to be interrupting his/her schedule.

In other words: email is convenient, comfortable, focused and precise (if we want it to be).

Personally, I feel much better to use email simply because my mood will not ruin the sound of my voice (not that I'm not always friendly, but you know...).

And just think to be able to add a picture, link, clip, whatever is helpful. It's just great.

Now I do realize that it is not for everybody, and many people still would like to be called or DMed. But that's ok, there are plenty of us who LOVE the web as a tool for many things.

That's how we all met, right? ;-)

Keep emailing, folks!

Ingrid Webster

The Neverending Necklace
"A String of Love and Peace going around the World!"

Private Reply to Ingrid Webster

Oct 30, 2008 7:10 pmre: Returning Phone Calls#

Jonathan Daniel
I found out the hard way early on how damaging this can be to your credibility. I used to procrastinate which lead to work piling up on me, and in an attempt to escape the weight on my shoulders, I'd put off returning phones calls and have been to the point where I was even watching the phone ring. I found out later that some of your best customers and prospects are the ones who expect you to call them back within no more than a day. These are the ones who are more urgent about the matters at hand and want to accomplish as much in the day as possible. Cherish these people, and call them back within 15 min. if possible. They are most likely on their job.

Great Company with a Great History!!!
Healthy All Natural Products

Private Reply to Jonathan Daniel

Nov 06, 2008 3:07 pmre: Returning Phone Calls#

I try to return all calls within 24 hours except for calls on Fridays that get returned the following Monday. It's a simple thing to do that garners you good will with clients not to mention being the professional thing to do. Take care and God bless.

Gazelle Simmons, Virtual Asst/Owner of Admin Services, http://www.admnsrvcs.com
Free Book Preview - http://gazelle.simmons.googlepages.com/twdnkpreview
Melaleuca Rep, http://www.melaleuca.com

Private Reply to gazellems

Nov 07, 2008 12:52 amre: re: Returning Phone Calls#

Heidi Caswell
I've found the phone to be a time saver for me. Especially if brain storming something, building new relationships, clarify goals.

Not everyone checks their email on a regular basis. I use phone, email, and cards to stay in touch. I know which ones I can use email with and which check email once a month or so.

I get more accomplished, finalized when I pick up the phone.

Heidi Caswell

Private Reply to Heidi Caswell

Nov 30, 2008 3:56 pmre: re: re: Returning Phone Calls#

Walter Paul Bebirian
I think that more recently there is a paradoxical something or other occurring - I myself have both called and e-mailed someone who professes to be a marketing expert and received an e-mail back a few days later and good thing since it was easier to reject the enormous minimum fee she had presented to me - but overall - people call me or e-mail to me when they definitely want something - or at least want to ask a question to apply later on and I return the calls and they answer back pretty soon if they are not there and I have to leave a message -

What I have alleviated from my marketing mix is calling people - I simply give out my business cards and allow people to call when they are ready - and yes they hold onto them till they are ready - a woman called me two weeks ago who held onto my business card for the so far record period of exactly 16 (sixteen years) who remembered where and when she received my card - who lived in a different state at the time and was very happy that I am still in business -

So at least one thing that was reinforced with that call and that is that a person or business must stay in business to reap a great part of the rewards from the efforts of their advertising!

For anyone who has a question about my handing out cards - I hope this is OK - I have recently created this brief video right before handing out my cards right before beginning my work:


so in essence the potential customer with this system has two reasons to feel less intimidates by calling me in the first place because they have seen me when I first handed them the card and they had my picture on the face of the card all along in order for them to feel even more comfortable when the do call -

and then they call -

and then I return the call because I am either doing an assignment or out giving out those cards -

and the reaction is more often than not - that we are already old friends!!!

Walter :-)


Private Reply to Walter Paul Bebirian

Dec 22, 2008 3:30 pmre: re: re: re: Returning Phone Calls#

Rajiv Lulla
I think this is the first time I am posting on this network, so, Hi to everyone...

Now, coming to the topic at hand, while I can appreciate some of the views especially about Scott's prioritisation of calls etc.,

I am quite amazed that family calls seem to be on last priority for most of the people who have posted on the thread, except for Scott and that too over the weekends.

I am from India. Out here we value family and prioritize everything around family and family members.

I for one, take calls from family members immediately. No matter if I am in a meeting with a client or tying up a deal. If it is something where I am meeting the CEO of a company, then I call back when I have completed the meeting.

I know family will call only if there is something important to talk about.

just my 2 cents...

Private Reply to Rajiv Lulla

Dec 22, 2008 11:05 pmre: re: re: re: re: Returning Phone Calls#

Marielena Alvarez
You seem to have gotten the wrong idea about family calls. We have a different culture than you do and that is probably part of the difference. Our way of life is fast-paced compared to other countries. Things are more laid-back in places like Costa Rica, a place I enjoy visiting.

Disfunctional family come in all colors and sizes. Those who do not respect you or your time are the least of the problem. Some of the family calls want something, something they could do for themselves. They are inconsiderate of your time and push their own political agendas. Toxic and disfunctional people are not worth my time.

I choose to surround myself with those that matter most, like my better half. Unless I do not hear the phone ring, calls from Andy are my top priority. Calls from his family in New Zealand are a top priority as they rarely call to chat (too expensive) and there is some news, like the death of his uncle or a visit from his daughter.

Calls from my mom are a priority as she keeps up on the family and will let me know what is going on. Both of my brothers only call when they want something, usually to crash at my place on their way to or from somewhere else. I am low on his priority list and we do not go out of our way to accommodate him as he has many friends and "uses" family.

There are a few people who will call and talk for an hour about nothing. Sometimes they are lonely and want someone to talk to but sometimes they are downright annoying.

I enjoy talking to my sisters on the phone, but they are not phone people or internet people and they even do not use the mail.

Unfortunately you are stuck with your family, you get the good and the bad and the downright annoying. Fortunately you can choose your friends, those who love and inspire you and have your best interests at heart.

Private Reply to Marielena Alvarez

Dec 22, 2008 11:38 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: Returning Phone Calls#

Paula Millar
Hello all:

My family is my top priority. There is no communication that interest me more because there is to much potential for real connection, love, intimacy with them. There is no one, beside a spouse that will ever have that much history on me. I used to be like others here. Business, Business always has the priority in my life but not any more. You don't remember the time at the office. You remember the time with your family. I had a born again experience though as a Christian and my heart was made flesh again so I now have God priorities, not mine any more.

As far as how to manage more real relationship and business together. I schedual it. I plan like maybe two hours for serious stuff and then I schedual spiritual time that feeds my soul like a call from a friend in the middle of my day, some ministry time that nurishes me and brings me alive in the middle of the doingness of the day. I'm refreshed and can give more in my work when my soul is refreshed. I take time a quick call to my husband, send a card to a friend or business friend.. share lunch over the phone with a friend or go out with a friend/business person for lunch. You have to watch out for the "tierney of time" because if you hone yourself to be effective only you will become drilled down, liveless and with out the creativity it takes to be effective in your business.

Real communication makes for real life and aliveness. They you don't feel this complete separation between business and your life and we all end of feeling like, whoowah, is my life nothing but work? There is a way to dance with it with more grace and be more fullfilled in that.

Paula Mary

Private Reply to Paula Millar

Apr 06, 2022 2:35 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: re: Returning Phone Calls#

Paul Finkelstein

How are ya doing?

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