Recently I was reading a Facebook group conversation about answering phones. I was amazed at how many people do NOT answer the phone when it rings. These are business owners — entrepreneurs trying to grow their businesses and yet, when the phone rings they don’t answer. When you call a business, don’t you expect someone to answer the phone?
Most of us have caller ID so we can avoid those annoying toll free number calls, so why not answer the phone?
“I don’t like talking on the phone.” “I don’t like being interrupted.” The reasons went on and on.
I do appreciate being in the middle of a highly-involved project and not wanting to stop to answer the phone. That’s understandable. What I’m talking about here is when that’s not the case: you’re reading Facebook or checking emails or in-between projects. Do you answer your phone then?
If you don’t, why not?
Let me tell you a little secret. When I answer my phone, there’s usually a sense of shock on the other end of the line. They’re calling a business…why wouldn’t they expect to talk to someone? Because of my above observation! So many people simply don’t answer incoming calls anymore.
What’s more is that I have gotten clients just because I answered the phone. I’ve also had some very nice conversations with prospects who thanked me for taking their impromptu call. You never know who could be on the other end and do you really want to lose what could be a wonderful opportunity? (Unless, like I said earlier, the caller ID says it’s a toll free number…that’s a junk call – don’t answer it!)
Most people nowadays don’t leave voicemails either (quite possibly because they don’t answer their phone when it rings) so you can’t assume they’ll leave a message so you can call them back.
Now, granted, with the ever-helpful caller ID, you could still call them back, but do you really want to make that awkward call?
I encourage you, the next time your phone rings, stop what you’re doing, take a deep breath, smile, and answer the phone. You just might have a really good conversation with the person on the other end, and you may get a new client!
If you’re still coming up with excuses in your head while you read this, here’s another tip. If it’s a sales call, politely tell them you’re not interested — or have a little fun with them. I recently received a call from someone who was monitoring my computer. I told her my computer was fine. She said something about getting reports of viruses and I was just unaware of them. I responded that I wasn’t stupid, I knew there was nothing wrong with my computer and what she was doing was a scam. Click. I got a good giggle.
Answer the phone! You could get a new client or a good laugh… and we could all use those! Then share your experience with me below.