Posts tagged Business
It’s been a while since I promised some people I’d share my view on the telephone conversations. Here’s the catch:
I *rarely answer my phone to people I don’t have saved in my phone book.
Besides the fact that we are spammed with the occasional tele-marketers and survey numb-nuts even the people you know can sometimes be a pain. Whether they are just bored or seek technical advice (because you once helped them install their operating system), you shouldn’t answer. Don’t worry! There is a plethora of erotic and IT tech hotlines they can turn to.
Ok, by now you are probably saying “Man, you are right but what about business conversations? Are we going to ignore them all??!”
The answer is YES! (caution advised though)
The advantage of a phone conversation is that you get instant feedback:
“So we meet up at 9? – Yes”
“Did you buy the tickets? – Yes”
“Are you interested in advertising with us? – No”
“Would you like to purchase our special package? -No”
In business, 90% of the times that is negative feedback – remember I referred to the telemarketers as numb-nuts.
Question: How many times has a prospect called you and asked if you could help? How many times did the email follow up?
You see, as much as you could talk on the phone, what really matters is the contract/brief/research/offer -and those are rarely detailed in a phone conversation.
Which brings me to my mantra:
I tend to answer my emails faster than I answer my phone.
An email is never interrupting, waits patiently in your inbox for you to do your research and then reply. You are always prepared to answer an email, whether you are making an offer or explaining something. If you are doing business, you must have an email address. The response time for the email depends on the business sector. I reply to my emails instantly or within 2-3 hours, I consider that polite. If you are reading this and you don’t have an email for your business, I think it’s time you called someone, probably your witty nephew that once installed Win Xp on your system.
Back to my phone – I have ~50 contacts I keep in my phonebook, and I answer only to these. I usually order online, and if I expect a phone call to confirm the order I do it. Also I answer to other numbers on my birthday. I can say that these are the two exceptions for which I pick up the phone, other than answering to friends and family. Technology has brought us call barring and creating answering rules for our smartphones – I personally use a nifty piece of software called Advanced Call Manager – best money could buy. It can filter the numbers so I only get call notifications from my contacts and it automatically blocks all others including the much hated anonymous ones.
Note to people calling me: if you hear the busy tone, email or text (sms) me. If I’m not answering, I will call back, trust me.
Here are some business lingo translations that I think will be most helpful for all of you out there looking for a job. No, currently we are not hiring.
Job offers lingo:
“COMPETITIVE SALARY” = We remain competitive by paying less than our competitors.
“JOIN OUR FAST-PACED TEAM” = We have no time to train you.
“CASUAL WORK ATMOSPHERE” = We don’t pay enough to expect that you’ll dress up; well, a couple of the real daring guys wear earrings.
“MUST BE DEADLINE ORIENTED” = You’ll be six months behind schedule on your first day.
“SOME OVERTIME REQUIRED” = Some time each night and some time each weekend.
“DUTIES WILL VARY” = Anyone in the hospital can boss you around.
“MUST HAVE AN EYE FOR DETAIL” = We have no quality control.
“CAREER-MINDED” = Female applicants must be childless (and remain that way).
“APPLY IN PERSON” = If you’re old, fat or ugly you’ll be told the position has been filled.
“NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE” = We’ve filled the job; our call for resumes is just a legal formality.
“SEEKING CANDIDATES WITH A WIDE VARIETY OF EXPERIENCE” = You’ll need it to replace three people who just left.
“PROBLEM-SOLVING SKILLS A MUST” = You’re walking into a company in perpetual chaos.
“REQUIRES TEAM LEADERSHIP SKILLS” = You’ll have the responsibilities of a manager, without the pay or respect.
“GOOD COMMUNICATION SKILLS” = Management communicates, you listen, figure out what they want and do it.
As a little confession, I must tell you that my first job ever, implied all of the above requirements. Funny as it may seem, in this country – it’s more of a trend. Businesses are changing, but people never will. Be careful out there!