Giving an excuse often feels like a good escape. In business, it may mean you won’t get the big contract, you may damage your reputation, and it can easily hurt sales efforts. Being responsive is important for your personal brand. More than that, not being responsive is just wrong.
It seems almost popular or trendy today. Business to business or even friend-to-friend, people often just don’t call back. Today’s business environment might leave the impression that being too busy to call is a signal of success, for many it is just an excuse.
Excuses Are Useless
You get many excuses. Here are a few popular ones:
“Sorry I didn’t get back to you. I’m really bad at that.”
“Things got crazy and no one could make a decision. It just fell off the plate.”
“Don’t take it personal. It isn’t about you, it is about me. I’ve been on overload.”
Always About Relationships
If you’re in business, or even expect to maintain healthy personal relationships you might want to think differently. It may seem surprising, but when I speak with business executives about customer service or sales, the no return email, telephone call, or ball drops are common discussion points.
Here are three things that might help you or someone you know improve:
- Find value. Sometimes we feel like interaction is painful. Actually, it is something to be valued. When people respect you enough to attempt to engage, tap into your wisdom, or even sell you something consider the alternative of no communication or contact. The question then might become, “Why are you needed?”
- Schedule. If you have to find the time, try planning for it. Return calls at the end of every day or choose to arrive at work a half hour early to catch up on return email messages. In a world of poor response and follow-up, you’ll be a hero. This is always better than the alternative, a zero.
- Commit. It is easy to adopt an attitude of skip it everyone does it to me. Don’t allow that to become your excuse. Make a commitment that you will stand above the rest. Plan to return calls or emails within 24 hours or less. Commit to doing it.
When you consider your personal brand, you’ll never stand out being like all of the rest. You’ll stand out when you are different. Don’t be lazy about delivering exceptional levels of personal customer service. Be the one who returns the call, follows up promptly, and keeps commitments.
Doing nothing or following a poor performance trend may feel accepted or even trendy.
Start a new trend. Stand out. Brand well.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.