“I am so busy!”
Okay, let’s admit it – aren’t we all tired of saying this and hearing it whenever we have a conversation with someone? Please try your best never to utter these words again.
This phrase is so overused that no one feels any empathy for you when you say it. Nobody listens or believes you.
It is so overused that it is not even heard. These words go in one ear and out the other. It has become a common response to all conversational questions, such as, ‘What have you been up to?’, ‘How are you?’ and the like.
What you are failing to realize is your excuse that you are too busy does not exempt you from practicing common courtesy. Just because you are busy (and apparently so is the rest of the world) does not excuse you from returning phone calls or fulfilling any commitments.
In business, you have to remember that it is human nature to reflect the perception one has of you onto the goods and services you are selling. If you are not perceived in a positive way, then what you are selling is not either.
It is human nature to do this and we do it all the time. When you don’t return a call as an employee or owner, it is acknowledged by the caller that you made a conscious decision not to respond. In other words, you do not value the person or their time, nor do you have two minutes to find out why they are calling. We all know if you want to make time, you do. It is a direct reflection on your customer service.
If you don’t return my call, why would I buy anything from you? Sure, I may not be a customer now, but I could be in the future. We also know how bad news travels fast, and that it is human nature for people to share their negative stories with others. Business may be good now and you may be truly busy, but times change, markets change and it is best to treat others with respect and courtesy.
Block out 15 minutes per day to return any of these types of calls that you would have dismissed in the past. It is okay to be up front and say you only have a couple minutes but wanted to return their call. You may not be interested but respond in a quick and honest way. It will show you had the courtesy and respect them enough to follow up.
If you are head of a large organization and truly can’t return all calls, have someone on your team return them for you and act on your behalf. Just don’t allow them to go unanswered.
The same goes for any other commitments that you have made to others. If you made a promise to do something for someone, make sure you block out the time to get it done.
Busy is not an excuse to be rude!