Here we go, another circuitous journey through another business day. Up and down hills. Over and around obstacles. Sometimes with a full tank of gas. Other times, we will be riding on fumes. Oh, the fun of it all.
Will we do better than yesterday? Will be do worse? Will it be a “push?” Only you can answer these questions. Will your future be better than your past? I certainly hope so.
Let me share with you today nothing short of being a blinding flash of the obvious.
Your appearance is important. Your first impression is important. Your second impression is important. Your last impression is important. Add to these factoids the thought that opportunities do not grow on trees and you are well on your way to internalizing today’s message.
From time to time many of you manage to take some time off, and are responsible enough to leave behind an auto response email message to tell your prospects and clients that you are “checking out” for a few days. I must admit, I receive more of these auto-responses than I thought I would, but who am I to say how to spend your time?
My message today is to respectfully ask you to think about the written response you return in your email the next time you want to plug your “absence” into automatic.
For reasons unknown to you, somebody took the time and made the effort to contact you. This is presumably a good thing. But in the wink of an eye, thanks to your technological acumen, you choose to reply with something that borders on “shooting yourself in the foot.” Here are just a few of “your” examples:
- “I’m not here. Call later.”
- “I’m not available. I’ll call you later.”
- “I’m on a Fam Trip. Lucky me. Back in January.”
- “If I’m not here, I must be somewhere else.”
- “Sorry I missed you. Too bad for you.”
Obviously, your responses are slightly more professional than these examples but to tell the truth, they come across just as mindless. My question to you: Are you missing a golden opportunity to make a positive impression when you are away from your desk?
“You’ve contacted Mike Marchev and I am away from the office for the next ten days. If it can wait, I will be answering all incoming emails on Wednesday, April 6th by 3 pm. If you need to speak to one of my associates, please dial 800-555-5555 and I promise you they will treat you with timely efficiency.
If Cancun is half as good as I expect it to be, I will have plenty of photos to share with you when I return.
Thanks for your email. Your business is truly important to me.”
This is but one example, and is meant to stimulate your thinking. I am sure you can do better than you are now doing. Take five minutes and craft a better voice mail or auto response to incoming inquiries.
Mike Marchev has plenty of stories, strategies and tactics to keep you on top of your game.
Mike will be conducting his 5th annual Travel Sales & Marketing Business Development Cruise, sailing the Freedom of The Seas from Ft. Lauderdale. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org for complete details. Five cabins are still available.
Mike’s daily column is made possible by AmaWaterways.