Why You Should Return Calls


Charles McCrumb Small Business IT Project Analyst, Office Automation Expert Herbert, McCrumb & Associates

Charles McCrumb
Small Business IT Project Analyst, Office Automation Expert
Herbert, McCrumb & Associates

Hi folks, here’s another post, with my snark in red of course.

There are several great reasons to return calls, versus always answering the phone:

  • Unless your specific job is to answer the phone, you’ve got other things to do.
  • Returning calls allows you to formulate an opinion about what the person left a message about (Next post, why you should leave detailed messages).
  • Returning calls allows you to do homework on the issue the person left a message about.
  • Answering the phone, and having to tell the person a lie or exaggeration to get them off your back until you have a real answer is grossly inefficient, not helpful, and doesn’t inspire trust.
  • Unless the caller is delusional, no one expects you to always be sitting at your desk, or walking around with your cellphone in your hand, waiting for their call. If you are doing phone support however, you will be calling that person back with an appropriate answer fairly quickly.
  • Most calls are not THAT important.

You should return calls in batches. Leverage your time effectively!

For example, If you start work at 7:30 AM, you should have a short meeting with your boss fairly soon in the morning (7:40 AM) to discuss objectives (hopefully it’s a short meeting, you have things to do). After that meeting, check phone messages, do homework and return calls. Next process email (no more than 30 minutes). (I KNOW you have lots, Mark S., Ken H., and Bob B.! Get better at deciphering what’s important, what’s less important, and what’s absolute B.S.).

Your phone will ring. Do you answer it? Do you ignore it? Can you turn the ringer down?

Read this next part twice and show it to your boss, IT’S REALLY IMPORTANT:

Every interruption from your definite purpose puts you a little more behind. Many things that are “urgent” are only important to another person or department from THEIR bad planning. They almost always have NOTHING to do with what YOU need to be doing. There are exceptions, of course, but for the most part, DO WHAT YOU NEED TO BE DOING!

If you have an on-site boss, you may be redirected to the unimportant-to-your-established-goals-items, but let HIM or HER direct that bad planning. Eventually, he or she may deliver some push-back to the (bad-planning) department and get you some relief. Or he or she may be FIRED for their complicity in bad-planning (hope springs eternal…).

Okay, back to the scheduled example:

7:50 AM Check messages, do homework if necessary, return calls.
10 AM Check messages, do homework if necessary, return calls.
1 PM, Check messages, do homework if necessary, return calls.
4 PM, Check messages, do homework if necessary, return calls.

In general, it’s much more effective to do tasks in batches, whether they be returning calls, making calls, processing email, or whatever it is you are supposed to be doing. If you are doing sales, you’ll need to return calls maybe twice as frequently, and not answering all the time.

That’s enough for now.

Think about it, pass it around and comment if you like.

Cheers! 😎

Charles McCrumb
Small Business IT Project Analyst, Office Automation Expert
Herbert, McCrumb & Associates
We can make ANY business work BETTER!
Small Business IT Projects  |  Office Automation  |  Human Behaviors
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Oh No! People Are Falling Out Of My Network! (Communication: Part 5)


Charles McCrumb Small Business IT Project Analyst, Office Automation Expert Herbert, McCrumb & Associates

Charles McCrumb
Small Business IT Project Analyst, Office Automation Expert
Herbert, McCrumb & Associates

They guys at Manager-Tools.com and Career-Tools.com, in their podcast “Building a Network”, state that people will fall out of your network and that’s okay. I suggest that it’s somewhat stronger than that:

It’s REALLY IMPORTANT that people fall out of your network, and here’s why: Those that are falling out will NEVER call you for help, you can’t count on them to help you, and they can’t be relied on for anything other than a brief comment on their social media feed (again I mention an acquaintance with 2,485 “friends” on Facebook, I say “acquaintance” because it’s only a collection, and I’m only a tiny part of that collection, and not someone that he [the empirical “he”, could just as easily be “she”] wants to stay in touch with).

For example: Say for instance you have 1,000 people in your network (just to keep the math easy). If by chance you lose your job, how many can be RELIED UPON to help you? You have NO WAY OF KNOWING if the unreliable ones haven’t been filtered out over the past 2 years. There may only be 600 that are partial toward you and willing to help you, and the other 400 may only be tepid at best. If you need to hire some people, who are you going to call? The folks you know and trust always get the call before an agency.

The people in your network that YOU can help will tend to ENGAGE YOU in conversation, or at least acknowledge that you have attempted communication with them or reply to you. If after 2 years of you offering help quarterly, a person falls out of your network, manager-tools, & career-tools argue that they never WERE in your network of people that YOU can help. I agree.

I wish there was a faster way to find this out, but as my dad says “Them’s the breaks!”. Those people may attempt to contact you sometime later, but you certainly don’t OWE them anything. You may decide to put them back into regular communication, but it’s certainly up to you (and I would). If then, they stay in touch, keep them in your system and communicate, offering to help them. But if then, he or she resumes his or her bad habit of ill communication, and after 2 years falls out again. Oh well.

Cheers! 😎

Charles McCrumb
Small Business IT Project Analyst, Office Automation Expert
Herbert, McCrumb & Associates
We can make ANY business work BETTER!
Visit us at http://www.hm-associates.com
Like us on Facebook for instant updates on what Herbert, McCrumb & Associates is doing, how we’re doing it, and how we’re saving real people time and money!
http://www.facebook.com/HerbertMcCrumbAssociates
email: charles@hm-associates.com
Skype: charles.mccrumb
Bus: (626) 593-6700