How much time do you lose playing “phone tag?” I can't stand that game! There are things you can do to eliminate that time waster, however.
It is very rare anymore to actually talk to the person you want to reach the first time you call them. Before you pick up the phone to make another call, consider what you are going to say when you get voice mail.
If you want to save yourself time and the time of the person you are calling, do more than leave your name and number on their voice message.
NO: “Hi Sam. This is Sally Smith. Please give me a call.”
YES: “Hi Sam. This is Sally Smith. I'm calling regarding the X Project. I have 2 questions that will take about 15 minutes to discuss. The project is on hold until I get your input on these items. Please call me at 888-888-8888888-888-8888. I will be in the office today and tomorrow between 10am and 3 pm CST that is Sally Smith 888-888-8888888-888-8888.”
Note that in the second message Sam has much more incentive to call if he wants X Project to continue. Sally has given details:
- What is she calling about
- What she needs from Sam
- How she can be reached (giving her number twice so it can be easily written down)
- The best time to catch her so phone-tag is not started
Before you ever make a phone call, expect to get voice mail and write out a script that you can go through to make sure that you give all of the important information. If you can, ask your questions in the voice mail. This gives the person time to research or think about it before they call you back — saving everyone time. Writing your short script ensures that you ask or say everything you need to and makes your use of time much more effective.
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