Call me back! A CEO laments unanswered phone messages

Editor’s Observe: Every week Maynard Webb, former CEO of LiveOps and former COO of eBay, provides candid, sensible, and generally stunning recommendation to entrepreneurs and founders. To submit a query, write to Webb at [email protected].

Q. I’m having a problem with individuals not returning my calls. I don’t need to be a pest however I’m additionally undecided that they acquired the message. Individuals don’t appear to speak the identical method anymore! 

—CEO on maintain

Expensive CEO,

I perceive your frustration. Individuals are coping with a lot incoming communication and it’s laborious to know in case you are getting by way of. I admire that I can see {that a} textual content was delivered and even learn, versus an electronic mail that I’ll by no means know whether or not it was opened or a voice mail that I can’t inform if somebody listened to. 

It is a high-quality line to stroll. As you stated, you don’t need to be a pest, however you additionally need to be sure that somebody noticed your message. 

I’ve realized to attend a bit after which politely ask if my message was seen. In that follow-up, I attempt a unique method of speaking. So, if I emailed the primary time round, I would textual content or attempt a phone name the following time.

I not too long ago had an essential assembly that I wanted to cancel. I left a voice mail however didn’t hear again. I didn’t need the individual to go out anticipating to fulfill me, so I attempted once more. This time I texted, and it acquired resolved immediately. (The individual had not checked voice mail, so it was good that I adopted up!) In one other occasion, I referred to as and left a voice mail on an pressing method. I didn’t hear again, which was very out of character for the individual I used to be trying to contact. This time, I emailed a follow-up and acquired a direct response. It seems the individual I referred to as didn’t acknowledge my cell phone quantity and thought it was spam so didn’t even test the message! 

My recommendation to you is to attempt once more utilizing one other mode of communication. That makes extra sense than making an attempt the identical factor over once more and anticipating a unique consequence.