I can only say what works for me, combined with inspiration from Derek Pilcher of The Ladders. Remember that having to chase-up suggests you are not top of the priority list and this may be an “amber warning” for you to address outstanding issues. Having to leave a message could itself hold a message to you about the timing of your call. So leave a message that nurtures the relationship.
Decide how important this person is to your long term interests and consider how willing you are to lose their custom. Make it easy for your listener by taking a minute to plan the message.
- Your Name when you start and last thing when you finish.
- Your phone number, twice, the 1st at normal speed, the 2nd slowly enough for writing it down.
- A reminder of your relationship and how you have previously interacted
- An upbeat message about why you are calling and a benefit for them. People do not like associating with guillt feelings, so do not say they have not returned your call
- A pleasant reiteration of your interest and request an action.
“We tend to build an allegiance either to relationships or to issues. We become primarily concerned about other people, their feelings, and the relationship, or we become focussed on rules, quotas, agendas, tasks and results”—The Word for today
I immediately liked this view but then considering whether it fits the business environment and the need to deliver results, I questioned it. Can you not deliver results without maintaining relationships with those who would deliver them? Can you deliver good results if you are primarily concerned about the relationships and not those results, afterall that is the primary reason for employing the people (human resource)? Surely the reason for maintaining relationships is for the results. For most people, the knowledge that they are valued for the results they deliver would be enough for them to give their best. I agree that in a learning environment and in a nurturing relationship, the relationship however is the overiding factor. The results are not as urgent and a good relationship would build the individual up to deliver results in the medium term. So, I guess it depends…