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Show them Respect with a Return Call

The Importance of Returning Calls

Very early in my career, during my very first job out of college, I remember an incident that took place when I went out on a sales call with one of my company’s senior account managers.  When the account manager introduced my to the customer, the customer made a comment that stuck with me for years.

“I like _____________.  He always returns my calls.”

Can you imagine?  The customer didn’t point out the account manager’s great personality or product knowledge. The customer pointed out that the account manager always took the time to return her calls…and did so in a timely manner, I might add.

Why was this so important to the customer?  First off, there are far too many people out there that don’t take the time to return calls. This may be due to fear of talking to clients, too much work or even sheer laziness. No matter the excuse, the message sent to a prospect or a customer is, “I don’t have time to talk to you” or “your call isn’t important to me.” Wouldn’t you rather let your client know, “I will take the time to speak with you, even if it means putting off other projects” or “I care about what you have to say and want to get back to you promptly.”?

We make it a simple rule to return calls within twenty-four hours, sooner if possible. Why? Just as we’ve said that having a sense of urgency is important, a lot of things can change during that time period.

  • A client may want to place an order… but may change their mind and decide to not place an order if they wait too long.
  • A customer may have a shipment that has not arrived and desperately needs to be there to meet a particular requirement.
  • A client may have a last need that must be filled in order to consider your proposal over a competitor’s proposal. 

There are all kinds of situations that can come up and all types of negative consequences.  Ultimately, not returning calls in a timely manner can lead to hurt feelings, damaged relationships, lost opportunities and more.  In today’s computer-driven age, customers have shorter attention spans and less patience.  By not returning calls quickly, you only hurt yourself.

The next time you walk into your office and see that red “voice mail” light blinking, take the time to pick up the phone, write down your messages and return those calls. You’ll be keeping yourself fresh in the customer’s mind, helping to strengthen relationships and ensuring that you’re on top of any new opportunities that might come your way.

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