Hollywood writer/producer Woody Allen is credited with saying that “90% of life is just showing up.” That saying has been morphed to apply to many situations, particularly business. And, it’s more true than ever in today’s current business climate. It’s truly amazing what success you can have if you apply this quote to your business life.
- Return a phone call promptly or within a reasonable period of time
- Show up on time for a meeting and call if you are delayed for some reason
- Respond to an email
- Follow up on communication, particularly if you are the one who initiated it
- Keep a committment or fulfill an obligation
As I said, these “show ups” sound so easy, but think about it: how often have you tried to communicate with someone, left message after message, and they never return the call, reply to an email, or respond to a letter? There certainly could be many reasons for why — they didn’t get the message, email ended up in the spam filter, or your letter is in a stack of correspondence. But each of those disconnects is a lost opportunity, and let’s be honest, avoiding returning a call — for whatever reason — is just plain rude.
Maybe the communication is a business solicitation and you’re just not interested. I can understand that — it happens to me all the time. So, because you didn’t ask for it, you just ignore it, hoping the caller will eventually the hint and go away. Ok, that seems reasonable; we all do it. But, may I make a suggestion: if you’re not interested, just respond to the person and tell them so. You’ll achieve your objective much more quickly, and the person can go on to the next prospect, without having to waste more time on you.
You may be thinking, “Well, why should I bother? This takes up valuable time that I could be spending on my own work?” Here’s why: Read more…