Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Reply when Contacted: Why Isn't It Done?

If you have been wondering where I have been since my last Blog, well have been waiting on people who have asked me to contact them to return my call or email.  Plus, it is premier golf season and there is a lot of business golf to play, which the waiting for others to reply to my contacts is really starting to cut into my business golf day.


I know I am not alone on this issue.  When I finally do hear from someone who asked me to contact, who I reach out to talk to, I will ask what took so long.  Their reply is generally has to do with something that is due to them having to wait on someone else to reply to them on something.


So, why is this happening?  On the most part what people are tell you and I when they do not promptly reply a call or email is ‘You are not important enough for my time”.  Pretty cold, but so true.    Even if they say this is not true it has to be or they would have returned your call or email.  End of that debate..


I have not done business with more people than I have done business with just because when I do get to take them out for a round of business golf I find that respect for other people’s time is not a worry for them.  And these are the same people inviting me out to play Business Golf to ask me why their business is in the toilet.  I cannot do business with anyone who does not return the same level of respect for my time as I do for theirs.  Can you?


Now, when I do pin them down with my frank questioning I usually get the ‘I don’t have time to return every call or email.  People are just going to have to expect that from me because I am so busy.  It is the price of doing business now days’  This is supposed to impress me that they are really successful.  But are they?


The other day I was playing a round of business golf with a guy who wanted to speak with me afterwards about conducting my seminar/workshop for his national sales force because he wanted them to learn how to secure their customer base for a new launch of a new service.  During the round he discreetly (even after I told him I would rather he concentrate on his golf and not the cellphone during our round) would apologize and step to the side to talk on his cellphone.  Each time he would return to the cart apologizing and quickly make a remark about the call. 


When we got to the Business part of the golf I asked how his bottomline was doing.  He reported he has doubled all profits.  I asked, what were some of the problems he was dealing with during our round of golf?  He reported that he has so many people in the field at all times he has to keep up with each persons performance to make sure they are not standing around waiting on him to answer their questions.  He went on to remark on his office staff needing answers to questions and operations needing to call a meeting with him.  He just felt that he needed to keep his fingers into every part of his business or it would not get done.  How many times have you met someone like this person?  Is this you? I really hope not.


I find that this is happening with more and more business owners and executives.  The fear of someone making a mistake and costing the company something is a basic instinct and in some cases is what some of these people are being told during their formal educations. 


So, when someone new comes into the equation or who they have met and need their help, calls or emails them, as they are requested to do, the urge to check on something else pulls them to make the wrong decision and not reply to these New contacts, potential customers or employees.


What happens?   Their customer base starts to dwindle and then their employee base starts to dwindle, mostly from the same thing; lack of respect.


Why do these people make the wrong decisions?  Well, on the most part, the reason is they are not properly staffing their business or in an attempt to keep costs down intentionally keep their staff down.  What happens?  Nobody can make a decision without the leaders input…. And that was my message to my friend I just played business golf with. 


I suggest that if you are so busy you have to work on your business instead of growing your business that this would be the first indicator that you need to get help, or more help.


Now it is another story if you are not profitable and too busy, then it means somewhere you are wasting time doing unnecessary things.  And the mistake these people make is not return calls or emails or even worse, take the time to visit with people without time restraints.  There is always something that someone is doing that could be cut out or done at the same time, but still get everything done, including return calls and emails. 


They think that spending time on the computer takes away from the finding business.  Or time away from working on a proposal or some other worthless action that they feel makes they are productive. 


People are always asking me how I write booked, blogs, got to meetings nearly everyday, conduct seminars and workshops be with my family, do my yard and still answer every single email and phone call?  Well, hold on, let me go turn the water off in the yard, answer an email that just came in, answer this call from a guy I am meeting in an hour, while I book my tee time for this afternoon.  That is how I do it and I am having a ball. 


The bottomline is that if that person you asked to call or email your could be the person that can probably provide you with the solutions to why you can’t get anything done.  Or provide you with the big contract that allows you to take your business to the next step.  Or provide you with needed distraction from you spinning your wheels in the mud and disrespecting other people’s time…


So, get the equipment you need, hire the people you need and step into the world of technology you need so you can keep in touch, return calls and emails to everyone who is wanting to talk to you.  Don’t say you can’t afford it because you can’t afford not to do this…


Simply put, reply to your contacts before they do business with someone else…


I’ll get back to you on why calls and emails are not returned from people who are wasting time reading books on ‘personal development’ and ‘how to find more time in your busy life to answer all of the emails and phone calls’…



Scot Duke


Innovative Business Golf Solutions, LLC.



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