According to Jill Konrath, the sales and marketing guru, busy professionals only listen to the first 2.7 seconds of each voicemail message. I admit I’m a “voicemail deleter”. I am so quickly annoyed by rambling voicemail messages. Since I’m in a confessing mood, if you are my mother, I NEVER listen to any of your messages. Why? Because I love her dearly, but her messages never tell me anything that my caller ID hasn’t already told me….”Andrea, this is your Mom. Call me back when you get a chance.” So, the question is not how to avoid being my Mom, rather … How to leave a message that compels the receiver to listen to the message in its entirety. Here are some easy steps: #1 Give them a value proposition that is meaningful to THEM. #2 Don’t start the message with your company name unless it is one that makes people stand up and take notice. #3 Speak as you are their peer – not their buddy and not subservient to them. Do not say, “I know you are super busy”. They will say to themselves, “Yeah, I’m too busy to listen to you tell me how busy I am”. #4 Ask for the next step in your sales process (conference call, in person meeting, web-based demo, etc.). Give these tips a try and let me know how they worked for you. I'd love to hear your tips too!
The Shoes have it! Meeting Etiquette. I’ve been reading studies about the increased productivity of walking meetings as well as a recommendation for standing meetings (meetings where all participants remain standing during the meeting). I can assure that if I’m wearing my Manolo Blanik’s – which I refer to as my “sitting shoes” – I will be distracted through the duration of the ever so brief meeting. We are over thinking this. Meetings are simply too frequent, too long and too unproductive. We need to get laser focused on the intended result, set a firm end time, reiterate the action items at the close of the meeting and end every meeting 5 minutes early. Lastly, we need to hold one another accountable to complete their required action items in order to move the process forward. I have found weekly status updates via email very productive. I also am a proponent of set meetings with the same agenda so each party knows what they need to have prepared prior to attending and they know what to expect from the meeting.
A while ago I arrived at the hair salon that I had been going to for years. After a quick shampoo, I was directed to the chair of my stylist - who was also the salon owner. He wasn’t nowhere in sight. A few minutes later I spotted him behind the front desk handling a business matter. Since he looked busy, I got up and strolled through the salon looking for a magazine. I proceeded to wait in his chair with wet hair until I completed the entire magazine. Just then my stylist rushed over and began cutting my hair. As he finished trimming the hair on one side of my head, he was called away again. He excused himself and scurried off. I then got myself a glass of water and walked by the front desk to check on an ETA of my missing stylist. Since no one even acknowledged my lingering, I finished my water and grabbed a hairdryer. I proceeded to dry and style my almost dry hair. My stylist grabbed me as I was walking out of the salon. He apologized for being so busy and explained that he would finish my haircut as he couldn’t afford me walking around town representing his salon with a half completed haircut. How interesting that he realized that his customer represented him every day as the walk around town. However, he failed to realize the importance or cost of losing one of those walking billboards. As I sat in traffic thinking of creative ways to hide my new “half-do”, I thought about my previous experiences at that salon. Was I always treated so poorly? Of course, not. Previously, I was warmly greeted with a