Top 7 Ways to Get Your Phone Calls Returned
By Bill Lampton, Ph.D.
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Reviewing the list of phone calls you placed last week, you notice that most people you called have not called back. You want to increase the percentage of return calls. But how? After eight years as an entrepreneur, Bill Lampton, Ph.D., has discovered seven steps that stimulate callbacks. They will work whether you are talking to a gatekeeper or leaving a voice mail message for your potential client.
- More than once, state the name of the prominent person who referred you. Rather than opening the call with your name, use the referring party's name: Harley Smith suggested you might be interested in my services. Because your name carries no credibility, you'll generate far more interest by namedropping. Close with: As I said earlier, our mutual friend Harley Smith prompted me to call you.
- Mention a specific point you want to talk about: I will appreciate an opportunity to hear your feedback about the bid I sent you last week. Busy leaders like to know the topic you want to discuss with them.
- Mention how the call will benefit your prospect: When you return my call, I will explain how my services will improve your company's employee morale and customer service at the same time. Think about it--you return calls when you anticipate that you will get something worthwhile, and you ignore those calls whose value seems indefinite.
- Confine your message to three or four sentences, even with an administrative assistant. If the assistant or your voice mail message tags you as longwinded, your chances for a return call get slimmer.
- Give your phone number at the start of your message and again at the end. If the person missed jotting it down the first time, she has a second chance without replaying the message.
- Say something that legitimately connects you with their organization: I know your company quite well, because I did an internship there during my years at the university.
- Demonstrate that the person should return the call at his or her convenience, not yours. One way is to provide your e-mail address, and invite them to e-mail a preferred day/time for their response, so you will be available and have your phone line clear. Another strategy: Provide your cell phone number, and say you will be available after hours. This doubles your access, and reflects that you give service beyond closing time, when that suits a prospect's schedule.
Bill Lampton, Ph.D., has generated wide acclaim as an expert in communication, motivation, sales and customer service. He has been interviewed by Delta's SKY,Washington Post, Entrepreneur, Cosmopolitan, Investor's Business Daily, UPI, Gannett News and other leading publications. Visit his Web site:
www.ChampionshipCommunication.com E-mail him to subscribe to his free newsletter, using the title SUBSCRIBE: drbill@ChampionshipCommunication.com
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Article Submitted On: September 30, 2004