Vendors: This is why I don’t return (most of) your calls


It’s not you, it’s me.

The other day I listened to a sales rep’s voicemail with my wife nearby. She heard me cut it off towards the end and asked if I deleted it. When I said that I did and that I wouldn’t be responding, she was aghast.  She thought it was rude.

I felt guilty too.  The poor guy on the other end was just trying to make his number. But if I returned every voicemail I get from vendors who want our money, that’s pretty much all I’d do all day.

It’s not that I don’t have the time. That’s just part of it. It’s the combination of not enough time, and not enough value, to make it worth my while.

There are plenty of sales voicemails I do return, just like there are unsolicited emails I answer and surprise invitations to webinars for which I register. But the difference is value. If you’re going to take a moment of my time, in part because you want more of my time and money in the future, make sure there’s explicitly something in it for me.

A voicemail asking if I want your product doesn’t provide value. A return voicemail asking why I didn’t reply to the first voicemail doesn’t do it either.

Even if you don’t take the time (or have the time) to learn a little about my business before you call, at least assume something about who I am, what we do, or what category we’re in to come up with something, anything, to make a few minutes of my time worthwhile. You’ll have plenty of time to sell me something if you earn my time and trust first.