For many of us, our time is our true inventory. So we need to manage and invest it carefully. Late last year, I wrote a post on this topic, “Respect Your Time in 2009.” Today’s post is a follow-up of sorts; I’d like to share a simple time-saver that’s worked for me.
When you open a company, your contact information magically (and surprisingly quickly) ends up on all kinds of direct-mail and calling lists. To the extent that you elevate your company’s profile – for instance, by appearances in the local press – this problem is compounded.
Recently, in response to a wave of cold-calls, I changed the recorded message on my business voice-mail to say, in part:
“…If you would like your call returned, please leave your name, number and the reason for your call…”
I used to respond to every voice-mail message, until it became clear that there was a reason that some people ignored my instructions to leave a reason for their call. About 90% of the ignorers were salespeople who were simply dialing for dollars. They didn’t know the first thing about me or my company, so they were trying to sell me something I didn’t need. In other words, they were going to waste my time. The other 10% of the time, it was a networker or job-seeker with really lousy listening skills (not a great way to begin the relationship).
Now, when I receive these vague, mysterious messages – “Hi, Matthew, this is Joe Dokes. Can you call me back at 555-1234? Thanks.” – I simply delete and move on.
This small change to my voice-mail has saved me time and nuisance; perhaps it will work for you as well.
Your time is valuable. Respect it. And don’t tolerate those who don’t.
About Matthew Fenton: Matthew founded Three Deuce Branding in 1997 with a simple mission: “To help good people build great brands.” He’s a former CMO who repeatedly led underdog brands to dramatically outpace the market, and now he does the same for the clients he serves. Businesses with revenues of seven to ten figures trust Matthew to help them achieve “brand clarity” through core brand strategy and positioning. Matthew is also a highly-rated speaker. Contact Matthew here. He’s based in Chicago.
Copyright 2009 – Matthew Fenton. All Rights Reserved. You may reprint this article with the original, unedited text intact, including the About Matthew Fenton section.