Checked my email on Sunday night. Which of these email messages mean anything to me?
- Tires for Sale
- VA Loan Review
- Fly a Private Jet
- Salma Hayek Weight Loss
- Walk-in Tub
- Prince Ahmed Karim
The last one. The others are spam. The last one is from my answering bureau, the one that employs real people sitting in an office somewhere in LA. I imagine they are working on their dissertations or screenplays and don’t want to barista.
The personal part is serious
I am not a Luddite. I have voicemail on my mobile, smartypants. But I am in the business of personal branding and I take the personal part very seriously. So my office line has a hundred people waiting to take your call if the receptionist is otherwise occupied or perhaps asleep.
When a real person answers the phone, you can muddle your words, be unclear about your reason for calling or even express outrage and still feel received (that’s psych-talk for understood). You feel relief, pleasure or a vindictive thrill when you hear the words, “Yes, I will let her know.” You enjoy listening to the gist of your message, as it is read back to you. Very validating.
The most important reason to have the bureau is that everyday at all hours of the day and night, people reach out or get back to me. Unless you work in a zoo or split atoms all day, that’s what makes up your career and business, too.
One hundred percent of my business is directly related to somebody needing something. And, I am in the business of supplying the something they need from me and mine. My clients are comfortable with voicemail. Strangers need more I have found.
Strangers need more
So, it’s probably fair to say that if you left a message and I haven’t returned your call – you’re the person who left just nine digits of the ten I hoped to receive from the answering bureau in that last email. Or maybe the bureau guy spilled coffee on his notes.
It’s just proof that you never know why someone hasn’t returned your call. You imagine they received too many resumes. Or the job is filled. Or they don’t want to buy what you have to sell. Or they are just too busy.
It should help you persevere and call back (not stalk, just call back) that recruiter or prospect. Consider that your message or voicemail may just be lost, smudged or missing a digit. It may take seven calls in seven weeks, or a call every month or every quarter – whatever is reasonable.
Just don’t take it personally or imagine the worst. Blame the spam filter, the bureau or a bad cell signal when you don’t hear back, but keep reaching out. It’s what all successful people do.