People ask me all the time what to do when people won’t call them back. They’ll have a great meeting with a prospect and when they call to follow up, they can’t get the prospect on the phone.
Or they are cold calling and always getting voicemail. They can’t seem to reach a human.
Welcome to the Age of Rude. As businesspeople we’ve lost the value of communicating directly. It’s so much easier to hide behind our email and voicemail systems. On the one hand, I’m not sure the majority of people realize they are being rude. I think they need to say ‘no’ but don’t like being the bad guy. It’s easier to avoid what they see as a confrontation.
The next time you encounter this situation and have to leave a voicemail message, provide the prospect with permission to say ‘no.’ Tell them that ‘no’ is an okay answer and that you don’t want to be a pest, calling them all the time. You’ll make it easier for them to communicate with you.
In addition, reality check your own behavior. Make sure you aren’t participating in this practice. When people leave you messages, call them back – whether or not you are interested in what they offer. It seems we’ve all fallen into this pattern. Maybe we can affect a change beginning with ourselves.
Elie Wiesel said, “But where was I to start? The world is so vast. I shall start with the country I know best, my own. But my country is so very large. I had better start with my town. But my town, too, is large. I had best start with my street. No: my home. No: my family. Never mind, I shall start with myself.”