Would you ever want to give someone the impression you don’t really need or want their business? Of course not!
But, could you be doing this unwittingly? Hmmm …
Now what would possibly give people the impression you’re not all that interested in serving them?
How about if you’re hard to reach or not very responsive?
That would do it, wouldn’t it? After all, hasn’t everyone had the experience of needing to get some work done around the home or office and being surprised at how hard it is to 1) get in touch with people and 2) have them respond in a timely and helpful way?
Say you call 3 people to look at a job and give you estimates.
The first person doesn’t answer. You leave a message. You don’t hear back for three days. You reach the second person. He comes out as promised and then takes forever to get you an estimate. You leave a message for the third person, but she calls you right back, comes out that afternoon and gets back to you with an estimate the next morning.
Who are you most inclined to do business with? Number three. And that’s without knowing much of anything else about the person beside the fact they were easy to reach and responsive! It gives you an edge.
Are you easy to reach? If you’re in business, you’d better be! But, I’m finding that’s often not the case.
Some people don’t answer emails right away or they have e-mail glitches that seem to occur more frequently for them. Or they don’t return calls as quickly as they could. They just aren’t easy to reach.
You’d think that being in business for themselves, they’d see how critical it would be to be more easily reachable. But they don’t. They don’t have the mindset and the structures in place to make themselves readily accessible, organized, and responsive.
Some people are just naturally wired to be doers, in action. They’re there when you need them. They answer their phones. They return messages. They jump on emails and texts right away. They’re dependably responsive.
Some people just aren’t. Maybe they’re introverts, and that kind of instantly connected, rapid response gene isn’t in their DNA.
Maybe they’re procrastinators. Maybe they’re great at what they do, but they’re not very business-minded and they simply don’t get the importance of being easy to reach and easy to do business with.
There’s a saying that holds true here. “How you do anything is how you do everything.” It seems people are either connected and responsive … or they’re not. And if you’re in business, you simply have to be.
Now, if you happen to be someone for whom communication and resolution comes easily, no problem. You’ll naturally set up the structures in your life and business to facilitate communication and timely resolution.
The problem arises when it isn’t really you. It doesn’t come naturally. Your business will necessarily suffer unless you make being accessible and following through in a timely manner top priorities each day.
It isn’t difficult. Check your messages. Make it a policy to respond as quickly as you can and always within a certain short timeframe, no more than 24 hours in most cases.
Put the follow up actions you need to take on your to do list and calendar. Make them the first things you do. Don’t let them slide.
This one little thing, being easier to reach, by itself, can make a big difference. And when you couple that with timely follow-up and follow-through, the word spreads, and you have more business than you know what to do with.