Hi Danny,

It seems like all the training, etc says to block out hours of time to execute – do not answer the phone during these times. Here is my question – I am calling and leaving voice mail after voice mail – both marketing and recruiting – don’t I want to answer the phone to see if it’s one of these people calling me back? Yes, I have caller ID but sometimes it’s hard to tell who is calling. I have tried leaving specific blocks of time when I can be reached for callbacks on voicemail messages but often people don’t pay attention. How does it work with your top producers?

Danny’s response,

There would be zero shoplifting, a billion dollar problem in America, if we installed X ray machines and hired Bar Bouncers at the entrances to beat up anybody caught doing it. But then nobody would go in the store. So “Retail Reality” is you are going to take the risk of some loss in order to have an overall “flow” to your business.

I feel the same way about your issue. Once in a great while you might miss a call back of someone you wanted to talk to. And like our retail brethren you could handle this by taking every call back you get and interrupting your flow of calls. But in my experience, the occasional call back is not worth what you would lose if you get used to working in blocks of calls. The value far exceeds the risks.
Now, if you had a secretary, you could continuously update via Email or IM a “must take/call back” list as the day goes on, and if the caller matches your list, she interrupts you. But you say you have caller ID, which tells me you answer your own phone. Come on! How hard is it to mark your call backs (I circle mine once I leave the message), and when a number appears on my phone, if it’s one of the circles, I check to see who the number corresponds to and answer the phone, if it doesn’t, I let it go to voice mail, and check my messages when my “block party” is done. At least here, when I get this kind if pushback, it’s because we are hoping for a distraction, because we are not truly bought in to the value of the block of calls I’m making. This may not be simple call reluctance or laziness, it could be your instinct and intuition telling you the job you are trying to fill is not a quality order, or that the MPC you are marketing is not a candidate of exceptional skills, so you don’t want to talk to anyone live. Pay attention to this feeling and clarify with your manager or a peer if the plan is worthy. If it’s not, technology helps us ensure its failure.