Steps to Management Successs – Step 125: Keep the Dialogue Going

Written By Rick Frishman Published April 15th, 2010


Keep the Dialogue Going

Make it your policy to respond to all e-mails and telephone calls as soon as you can. Reply quickly even if you don’t have an answer or new information to report. It’s always smart to let those who try to reach you know that they and their problems are important to you. Explain that you’re working on their matter and that you will get back to them as soon as you have something concrete to report. If you can, estimate how long you think it will take to get them the necessary information.

WHAT IT MEANS: Although people want results, they also want and need attention. They want to know that they are not being ignored, especially when they’re paying or doing business with you. When you acknowledge and promptly respond to their inquiries, most people will be reasonable and more patient. However, if you fail or take forever to answer, they will be more likely to become incensed, demanding, and more difficult to work with.

ACTION PLAN: Set aside a specific time each day to answer e-mails and phone calls. Your response can be brief, even as little as an acknowledgment of their attempt to reach you. Try to respond the same day you were contacted. Consider prompt responses a part of the service package and professionalism that you provide.

EVEN BETTER: If you’re away or can’t reply, instruct someone to respond promptly on your behalf. Tell him or her to explain that you’re tied up and that you will get back to the caller or sender at the earliest opportunity. Have him or her ask if there is anything that he or she can do while you are unavailable.

(Excerpted from: 10 Clowns Don’t Make a Circus. . . and 249 Other Critical Management Success Strategies by Steven Schragis and Rick Frishman)

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