One of the most rewarding and insightful activities as a business owner is to meet with other business colleagues and over a late’ or long black, happily discuss the joys and challenges of business.
One of the things I have been hearing quite a lot lately with all the ‘busyness’ leading up to Christmas is phone calls and emails not returned.
This article by guest writer Peter Bregman for Harvard Business Review is a very interesting look at both sides of the debate. Returning a phone call or email is courteous and respectful behaviour and avoids the other party left hanging. On the other hand, why return a phone call or email if you are not intending to proceed with the deal or you have no information for them yet?
My take on this is that there are three things that often are overlooked when someone decides to not return a call due to well laid plans being averted:
1. The time and frustration involved in deleting emails and avoiding phone calls can be saved by a quick courtesy email or call letting the other party know the current situation and when a good time would be for them to follow up.
2. Rapport building is an important part of good business. You never know when the roles will be reversed and you will want something from the other party whose calls and emails you are currently avoiding.
3. Word of mouth is the best form of marketing. If you are treated with respect by a business you will be more likely to refer them if you come across someone looking for their product or service.
So next time you are feeling frustrated and in avoidance of recurring phone messages and emails, give thought to communicating in a respectful way to build the relationship capital that you always need for your business success.