The Value of Taking (and Returning) Phone Calls

It seems that nearly every week a printing company complains to me that the people they are calling on do not call or e-mail them back. Ouch! I hear this from the sales staff, as well as the executives and/or ownership. So why do I bring this up?

I find it humorous that people complain that their prospects do not get back to them or return their calls/e-mails. Why? The same people complaining (oftentimes executives) are usually not good at getting back to the salespersons who are calling on them. For example, I hear executives say, “put them in voicemail—it is a salesperson, right?” Also, they may tell the receptionist to tell the caller they are in a meeting. Or, they simply have the salesperson leave voicemail after voicemail and do not respond at all.

In my humble opinion, this is not good. You see, we are no longer in the printing business but indeed are in the communications business. The way we communicate with everyone defines our brand. Not getting back to people, even if it is to say “no thanks” is bad communications and hurts your company’s brand.

I believe in the golden rule of life which applies to sales as well. We should treat others the same way we want to be treated. If a person calls you, then you should return his call. If a person e-mails you, you should return his e-mail. You may not be interested but they, too, are a person and are trying to sell their services the same way that your sales team is, right? Well, if this is the case should we not walk the walk and not hide behind technology? Are we better than the salesperson calling on us? Are we too busy to take one minute of our time to respond? Wouldn’t you hope an executive at another organization would at least respond in some professional manner to your sales team?

Ryan T. Sauers is president of Sauers Consulting Strategies. The firm consults with the front end of privately held printing and related organizations across North America. The areas of focus are: sales growth, brand positioning, organizational strategy, and integrated marketing (with an emphasis on social media). Sauers speaks at many national events and writes feature articles in global publications. He is an adjunct university professor teaching leadership and entrepreneurship. Sauers is also the author of the best-selling book "Everyone is in Sales" and the newest book "Would You Buy from You?" Please visit: SauersConsulting.com.
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Comments
  • Monkey

    Amen Brother! It is bad Karma

  • Deborah Corn

    Hi Ryan! Let me just raise my hand, say guilty, and get it out of the way. My inbox and vm has become the black hole of death for thousands of sales calls.

    Ironically, there is nothing more annoying when Im trying to find someone NEW to help me and my call goes to vm or I dont get an email response! I think all service providers should be available when I need them – and yeah its unrealistic and beyond ego-centric – but really, it’s the truth!

    The issue really has to do with the balance, being so unbalanced… If you dont answer me, Im moving on and someone else will get my business… If I dont answer you, you are going to keep calling me…lol

    However, I think the vital part of this discussion missing is the RELEVANCE of the communication. I receive at LEAST 20 solicitations a week (if not more) for products and services that have nothing to do with me. Im not buying a press, I dont need a server to run an IT dept, I dont require pre-press tools – why … IM NOT A PRINTER!

    Why should I bother to spend one second of my time responding to anyone who didnt take any to know if my needs and their services made sense?

    That sort of interaction has jaded me to responding to anyone… but I happen to agree that times have changed and we all need each other in bigger ways. As a member of the community, Im going to try and be better, at least with the relevant solicitations!