Thursday, January 13, 2011

Import Export Business Do's And Don'ts

I have to post this while my thoughts are still fresh on the subject - the do's and don'ts of this post apply not only to the Import Export Business, but ANY business.

1. LISTEN TO YOURSELF ON A VOICEMAIL MESSAGE - DO IT TODAY!

Now I readily admit I have a hearing problem that has taken about 90% of my hearing from my left ear so I often have to play voice messages back 2 or 3 times to get all the information someone is relating, however, when I have my wife stand there and listen 2 or 3 times and she too (who has no hearing loss!) cannot understand what the person is asking or especially what their telephone number is, then the caller is clearly at fault of not speaking clearly and concisely.

Most voice message systems allow you to speak 2-3 minutes, so right NOW, go leave yourself a message of up to one minute and do so in the small tone of voice, rhythm like you normally do, don't think about it, just do it. Then have someone that you normally do not speak with listen to your message.

If that person cannot understand what you are asking, stating or the phone number you have recorded, you need to begin practicing speaking more clearly, concisely and making your point as to why you are calling or you will not do well in ANY business!

If you are at work and you do not want everyone to know what your business is, go outside during your break or lunch and make your calls or wait until you get home. Trying to talk low so no one else hears you simply does not allow you to leave a coherent and understandable message.

I practiced for several hours the first time I was going to record an outgoing voice message on a voicemail system I set up back in the late 1980's. I wrote down exactly what I wanted to say and had to record over it several times before I got it right and then I asked others to listen to it and provide me with feedback. NEVER ASSUME you are understood by anyone other than your circle or friends and family who have adapted to your voice, rhythm, tone etc..

2. DO NOT LEAVE VAGUE MESSAGES

If you want someone to take time out of their schedule to call you back, TELL THEM WHO YOU ARE, WHAT OR WHY YOU ARE CALLING and BE VERY SPECIFIC.

There are countless fraudsters out there who leave vague messages trying to get the mark to call them back for their nefarious reasons, there are also telephone numbers that the fraudsters can ask you to call that will rack up $29.00 or more a minute charges by you simply calling them.

More importantly, if you leave a poorly worded message that is difficult to understand without any specifics, why should the person receiving that message call you back?

Some people would say everyone deserves a response -SORRY, not in today's Internet world where people can be calling from anywhere in the world and when you have your product or service information posted clearly on your website and if they cannot understand what you have posted there or are too lazy to read it, then quite frankly, they are not worth my nickle or dime calling back because they aren't going to understand an explanation from me either!

3. STOP HIDING BEHIND A BLOCKED OR UNKNOWN PHONE NUMBER

I use caller ID quite a bit due to my hearing problems. If someone does not speak clearly enough for either my wife or I to understand the phone number they have left but their message "sounds" like it might be important enough to return, I then go to my caller ID to get their number.

If you hide who you are behind caller id blocking or however they make it show up unknown, then you simply are not worth another second of someone's time in trying to get back with you.

As my last post stated GET REAL, you are either in business or you are playing games by hiding your identity.

Most of the time UNKNOWNS or BLOCKED ID's are calls from sales people and the volume of these calls has reached such a high level that I now DO NOT pick up when a call comes in from an Unknown or blocked id caller, I wait to see if they begin to leave a message and "if" they do and "if" it is a legitimate caller, I will pick up, otherwise I simply let the answering machine deal with them which in 90% of the cases they never leave a message.

4. SEND AN EMAIL OR FORM SUBMISSION INSTEAD

If you are calling a business that has a website with their telephone number posted, that is OK, BUT, if you cannot communicate your message clearly on their voice message system, they probably will not call you back.

So, use their email or form submission system on their site and send them a detailed message - THAT IS WHAT IT IS THERE FOR.

If you cannot send a coherent, understandable message then you seriously need to improve your written communications as well.

EMAIL or a website's Form submission IS FREE to use so why not use it. Many people will check their email far more often then their voice messages and if your message is CLEAR, CONCISE and UNDERSTANDABLE AND is something the business receiving it can help you with, THEY WILL CALL OR EMAIL YOU BACK.

EMAIL allows for FAR fewer mistakes since it provides and ongoing WRITTEN record of what each party is asking and the other answering.

I am a strong advocate for CALLING a supplier or potential buyer to establish communications but when I do, I leave a clear, concise message if they do not answer and repeat my phone number at least two times speaking slowly and also tell them what times are the best to call me back so we do not play phone tag.

GET REAL about your business by GETTING REAL about your COMMUNICATIONS, whether they are voice messages or emails (sorry, I don't text so I won't even begin to address that one - simply doesn't make sense to me to text someone what I could talk to them about over the phone in much less time than it takes to type all those little letters and symbols into your tiny phone keyboard).

I hope you find the posts on this blog helpful in your business endeavors.

Ron Coble
International Business Services

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4 Comments:

Blogger EXPORT IMPORT said...

http://exportimportconsultancy.blogspot.com

4:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would you recommend gmail as an email to use for business? What about inbox.com? Because I don't have an ISP/computer at home. I only have yahoo, hotmail.

1:58 PM  
Blogger Ron Coble said...

Anonymous - not sure you will ever see this but in reply to your question - I am not familiar with inbox.com and therefore cannot pass judgement. Gmail has a much better filtering than Yahoo and/or Hotmail which means less chance of a legitimate email being filtered as spam.

My BOTTOM LINE recommendation is if you are 'serious' about your business, invest in a domain name to start and get either email hosting with it or the lowest priced web hosting with it and then you will have a branded, identifiable email address that people will see as far more legitimately in business than using a FREE email address.

12:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Ron, for replying back. I will look into investing in a domain name. Thanks.

10:29 AM  

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