Thursday, December 3, 2009

My Least Favorite Game

As a recruiter, phone tag is the bane of my existence. Like many salespeople, connecting and communicating with many people every day is an important part of my job. If I played much phone tag, it would be very inefficient, so I have figured out ways to short-circuit the game.

Here are a few things I do to ensure I connect as quickly as possible:

1. On my own voice mail message, I ask people to let me know the best time to return their call. Then I put them on my calendar at that time and ring them up.

2. When I leave a voicemail or email, I let the person I am trying to reach several possible times to reach me based on my schedule.

3. When I am trying to connect with someone, I often email them as well as leaving them a voice mail message, sometimes simultaneously. Just like my voice mails, I always ask people to let me know the best time and number to reach them at. When they provide me with this info, I acknowledge via e-mail to let them know I will call them at that time.

4. Text messaging is another great way to set up a time to connect live.

5. I return calls right away rather than waiting. If they just called me, then they are probably available. Quicker response conveys greater urgency, and people often respond accordingly.

6. I find that trying different methods (voicemail, email, texting) and different times works well. Some people respond better to email, others to calls.

Basic? Probably. These are pretty simple things, but I have noticed a lot of people play a lot of phone tag. Since I do my fair share of cold calling, I have found using these approaches in combination helps boost my response rate.

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