To reach a department that is closed and doesn’t take voicemail, press 1. To be re-routed to the wrong department, press 2.
For static over bad music while Google Voice screens your call and then drops it, just wait 10 seconds.
To get the message that you and your call don’t mean much, just leave a message at the beep.
Is that how it feels to do business with you? That’s hard work.
How hard? Like getting through the defensive line with its gargantuan force of weight crushing your attempt to move the ball forward. Like being the kicker who gets roughed up, after waiting through the time out and thinking about it.
Not into football? OK, how about being deep underwater in scuba gear and having your air hose crimped. Like the way your shoulder feels when the butt of a rifle strikes it as the firearm discharges.
You get it. It is painful that people want to reach you to do business with you, and can’t do that easily.
Even vendors and sales representatives – who might have the one thing you can purchase to change the economics of your business for the better, deserve better.
Because my fields of expertise are communication and personal branding: I’m all about having people answer your phone. That’s right: people! A human voice. One that understands not only the language of your callers, but the culture as well. At least, the majority of them.
For right around the same price as two lattes a week, you could be in business. I mean, really in business. That means customers and prospects calling you on the phone, and your making money because they reached a person and not a machine. Could you go without lattes for a month, if that were the difference between getting clients or not?
When my reception staff can’t handle the calls coming into my office, we have an answering bureau that picks up the line – right here in Southern California. I’ve met most of the people at the bureau and they do their best, which is mostly to be human. They can text me, email me and even direct connect me (sometimes they do all three at my instruction).
Of course, because they are human, they are not perfect. But I bet on them because real people are a better bet than the losing game of voicemail. (BTW, it’s only when you really know me that you get my voicemail, but that’s a critical part of communications strategy for another day).
Personal brands, consider how far you are willing to go to have people remember you. When it really matters, get a vanity number – and one that is toll-free. Ask yourself: does it really matter that people remember me? Yes, it does.
Buy a phone number that makes a statement about your personal brand. It’s one of those branding touch points that’s also really inexpensive, but makes the statement that you are serious about being personal brand.
Go ahead and try it.
If you want to hear a sample of the sound of real voices – and maybe you want to discuss coaching – either becoming a coach or getting coached on personal branding: I’m happy to chat with you. A human being will take your message if you don’t reach me directly. Urgent? Let them know, they’ll get to me pronto.
As I say to my clients, the media and my audiences: just call 1-888-GO-NANCE.
What will you say about reaching you?
Nance Rosen is the author of Speak Up! & Succeed. She speaks to business audiences around the world and is a resource for press, including print, broadcast and online journalists and bloggers covering social media and careers. Read more at NanceRosenBlog. Twitter name: nancerosen
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