Have had what seems like a zillion business and personal calls that I had to make in the past week. In most cases, the burden was on me to get information or a response — in other words, it’s my hide that gets burnt if details aren’t ironed out and the return call made. And getting a return call is not a trivial thing to gain.Several of the cases were complicated by bouts of flu and time zones and Christmas travel. All of them had excuses that pass muster from a distance. But the fact remains — there’s not a lot to do when you require a call back, people aren’t answering the phone, and they don’t call you back. And life seems to not wish to stop for me to handle all the details that life requires.But the message you leave makes all the difference in the world. First, people don’t want to listen to a documentary on your life. Short, sweet, and to the point. Second, since it’s your hide and not theirs, motivation is low. Give them a carrot. What’s in it for them? Give the sales nugget for why this is a good idea for them. After all, you ARE ordering your message around the listener, aren’t you? And, it’s best to sound confident when leaving a message. You should have your message scripted at least in your mind so when you hear the beeeeeep, you aren’t stuttering and stammering and leaving an uncompelling request. Make it clear what you want and when you need it and what the consequences and assumptions will be if you don’t hear back. Stick to the positive — people don’t like to be threatened, especially when it’s one-on-zero through a message.To paraphrase Jeffrey Gitomer, if you can’t get a return call, your sales skills stink.BTW, I’m 4-for-5 in return calls in the last day. .800 gets you on any major league roster. Heck, .316 gets you $52 million.
Always have a compelling message at the ready, especially when you’re dialing the phone.