The game of phone tag might have been somewhat entertaining in 1998, but nowadays it’s an annoying waste of time and patients. You call your client, but reach her voicemail. Your client calls you back while you’re in a meeting. You call her back and she is away from her desk. You become frustrated not being able to reach her so you resort to a lengthy, not exactly straight-to-the-point email to discuss business that could have been taken care of in less than a minute over the phone. We’ve all been there. Ugh.
1. Time it smart
Avoid making calls during the lunch hour or after 5pm when people are liking to be away from their desk.
2. Leave a “detailed” message
Don’t just hang up and make the person you are trying to reach call you back to find out why you called in the first place. Leave a detailed message. That person will be equipped with information so that when she does return your call, she is prepared to offer you information in return.
3. Communicate when you’re available
When you leave a voicemail, tell the other person what time is best to return your call. Then, be sure to make yourself available during that time. Interruptions are inevitable, but if a coworker must discuss business with you while awaiting the callback, politely explain that now is a good time to chat but if John Smith calls, you must take the call.
While the business world is hard at work, it can be difficult to get in touch with busy entrepreneurs and on the road sales reps. Hold yourself accountable and do the best you can to communicate effectively on your end. You will see results.