Staying in bed is not an option

By Graham Hill

September 7, 2010

Warning: Is Your Relationship With Your Phone Damaging Your Business Performance?
As you know, economically these are challenging times.
And as a small business owner you may be struggling with the feast or famine syndrome.
There are times when you have lots of work on. On those occasions you’d much prefer to work undisturbed. After all, when that happens you get more done and can work quicker.
But on the other hand there’s that underlying fear of what’s going to happen when you’re not busy and the work dries up.

It means you’ve got a decision to make…
1. Should you ensure you’re available to answer your phone whenever it rings to give you the BEST chance of converting any sales leads? OR
2. Switch off your phone during your protected time and rely on your answerphone to take the strain.
As you’ve probably experienced, neither of these solutions is ideal and these conflicting priorities can cause havoc with your productivity and your sanity!
Who’s really in control of your day?
You see if you leave your phone on and make yourself always available to answer it, the likelihood is you WILL get disturbed.
After all, your callers don’t know what you’re doing when they get in touch.
What’s more, you can almost guarantee that if you really don’t want to be disturbed, your phone will almost certainly ring! And when it does, it can leave you experiencing the following frustrations and unhelpful thoughts:
1. My plans have been ruined for the day
2. I get so stressed when the phone disturbs me – especially when I’m in the middle of something
3. I hadn’t accounted for that long call – now I’m going to have to rush that piece of work which means mistakes are more likely and my quality will be compromised
4. I really can’t deal with this now – does my tone give my feelings away?
5. Aggghhh, that interruption has made me lose my train of thought – where was I going with that idea?
6. Great. The phone was so busy today I haven’t got as much done as I needed to. I’ll have to work late and I won’t be able to spend that promised time with the kids
What are you fearful of?
So there’s a decision to be made.
That’s because alongside these frustrations is a real concern that by not picking up, you’ll miss something critical. After all there’s no guarantee a caller will leave a message. And if you don’t answer within 3-4 rings they’ll probably hang up.
And what impact does this have on your business?
1. Perhaps you lose business opportunities. After all, failure to answer means there’s a very real risk that prospect will go straight to the competition
2. If you can’t be reached this could be interpreted as a negative and deter potential customers from wanting to do business with you
3. You could lose out on revenue and sales at a time when you really need to be building your customer bank
What’s the solution?
You have two choices.
1. You can either continue as you are and answer your phone when you can and rely on your answer phone when you can’t.
BUT if you decide to stick with this option you must get clear on the compromise you’re making. If you have no protected time during the day and you allow your schedule to be dictated by interruptions, your productivity will suffer – and your stress levels are likely to increase.
2. Alternatively you can divert your number to a call answering service.
Choose this option and you can confidently switch off and ignore your phone, knowing that in your absence every call is being handled professionally and efficiently on your behalf.
What’s more, because most call answering services offer a flexible approach and a variety of price packages, you’re bound to find a solution that’s just perfect for your requirements.
What’s it going to be?
Why not tell me your thoughts in the comments below.


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