I was walking past my desk when the phone rang.
“Hi, I’m Jamie,” said the caller. “I can help improve your website.”
“Sorry, but I’m on my way to the airport,” I said. “Can you call me back next month?”
“Sure,” said Jamie, and he hung up.
A missed opportunity, I thought. And a pretty familiar scenario.
Like Jamie, I often end a conversation before it’s had a chance to gather momentum. Or before I can exchange contact information with the other person. And as a result, we’re both worse off.
Truth be told, I could probably benefit from Jamie’s services. And I’m sure he would like to make a sale. But since I was in a hurry and his caller ID was marked “private,” I’ll either have to wait a month for him to call me back, or we’ll pass as two ships in the night.
Starting what You Finish
At the very least, Jamie should have said, “I see my timing is bad. Can I email you some information to look at while you’re waiting for your flight?” But instead, we crawled back into our caves without even leaving bread crumbs.
To ensure a future connection, here are two quick tips:
1. Recognize common phrases that can derail a call. These include:
* I can’t talk right now.
* Can you leave me a voice message?
* I’m in a meeting.
* Sorry, I’m not interested.
* What’s the best email address to send you some information?
* May I try you at this number tomorrow, or is there a better time or way to reach you?
* That’s okay; this will only take 15 seconds.