I am either at the end or in the middle of trying to connect with someone who was referred to me.
I received their contact information on a Thursday and was planning to contact them on Monday.
On Friday night at about 6:40 pm, the business line in my home office rang. We were in the middle of dinner, so I didn’t run to answer it. Turns out that it was this referral calling me. The message I received was that I could call him back over the weekend or sometime next week.
(Although I will, when necessary make business phone calls and/or set meetings during “non-business” hours, that extra service is usually reserved for good clients. That’s not to say that I don’t work on weekends, early mornings and evenings, because I do, but that’s either for clients who are not in the California time zone or for emergencies. Otherwise, that’s family time and back-office work time.)
I returned the call on Monday and left a message.
Several days later, he called me back. I returned the call later that afternoon and left a message again. Several days later, still not having heard back, I sent him an e-mail alerting him to the fact that I would be out of town for three days on vacation, but would be happy to set a time to meet with him. I gave him several time options. A week later, I still haven’t heard back.
Come to find out that he told the person who referred me that, if I’m too busy to take his call when he calls, then I will probably be too busy to actually work with him. He didn’t mention my return phone calls or the e-mail I sent, or that he wasn’t available when I returned his calls.
So, this is really not a gripe session. This is about reminding everyone that people do have personal lives, other clients, and yes, we occasionally even have to go to the bathroom and may miss a call as a result of any of those reasons. Unless your pipes are spewing water, you’re stuck at the side of the rode and need a tow, or some other sort of emergency, sometimes we do play telephone tag before an actual connection is made and that’s ok. Have patience and take some of the responsibility if you don’t pick up that phone and/or return a message promptly.
If you don’t think it plays a part in your branding, you’re wrong.