Don’t leave a message


I was so impressed with the idea, energy and passion behind boomerangcrm.co.uk that I invested in the business and was thrilled to learn of the progress being made at their board meeting last week, it really is going great guns. But something happened at the meeting that I feel compelled to share with you.

After discussing the financials, we turned our attention to operations and I was surprised to learn that the team receive over 1,000 inbound calls a week from people BoomerangCRM have contacted but did not leave any message (the team prefer to call again at a different time). Just think about this for a moment, 1,000 people called back when all they had was a missed call number on their phone. This reminded me of the coaching tip Josh Phegan gave four years ago at the first ‘Prospecting School’ event we ran in London, “never leave a message when you get their voice mail, just leave your name and telephone number, that’s all, you’ll significantly increase the number of callbacks.”

This brevity seems counterintuitive to business thinking – surely people would like a message to be able to receive the information and then decide whether to act on it or not, but actually withholding all detail or even not leaving a message at all seems to result in a greater response.

Some years ago now, I ran a marketing agency and we worked with Professor Robert Cialdini’s team creating their training materials for the UK and Europe. Bob Cialdini is the author of “Influence – Science and Practice”* and regarded as the authority on the subject. Working with him and his colleagues we were fortunate to truly understand the six principles of persuasion which include “commitment & consistency”, possibly the hardest of the concepts to fully appreciate.

In simple terms people feel obliged to act in a manner consistent with their values, beliefs and particularly with any statements they make that are done so publicly and voluntarily. I wonder whether this principle is at work here and people feel obliged to call someone back, even if they don’t recognise the number, in order to remain polite and courteous?

I also suspect that another of the six principles, “scarcity”, might also be a factor – this concept includes the powerful ‘fear of missing out’, so that if someone sees a missed call, they start to wonder who it’s from, then speculate what it might be about and fearing that it could be important call back.

So this week’s message is very simple – don’t leave a message.

*Property Academy Members can have a free summary of Professor Cialdini’s internationally bestselling book – email danielle@propertyacademy.co.uk and she will send you one.

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