Bob Parsons, the founder of GoDaddy, the company where I do all my domain name business and recommend to all my clients, has some great advice for saving time with phone calls and emails. Parson’s approach is that someone picking up the phone and dialing your number doesn’t obligate you to speak with them. It’s a novel idea, but especially in this day of cell phones where the person receiving the call pays for it, it just makes sense. We all spend plenty of time on the phone with legitimate and important calls from people we know, or at least need to know, about things that are important; we also deal with lots of calls that are time wasters and that is no favor to us, the unknown caller or our clients. One particular piece of advice that I agree with wholeheartedly (and have followed for years) regards voicemails – if someone leaves a cryptic voicemail with no information, you aren’t obligated to return it.
If someone wants me to return a call, I’ve got to know what they want.
If someone just leaves a name and phone number and I donâ€™t know who they are and what they want, I will never return the phone call. This doesnâ€™t, of course, include messages I receive from family and friends.
I very rarely return any voice message.
If someone leaves their name and number with a message without detailing what they want, itâ€™s been my practice to very rarely return the call. For me to return any call, the message has to be understandable, it has to be of immediate interest to me and it has to be something that I want. If a message left on your phone doesnâ€™t meet these criteria, I think it’s nuts to return the call.
I would add that a brief message is often preferable to a long rambling one if a return call is desired. A message with so much information that there’s nothing left to discuss may not seem to merit a return call either – I’ll usually take care of the issue addressed in the voicemail and return the call after the issue is solved or when I have an answer.