They Won’t Call Me Back

Don’t you hate it when you leave message after message for a host or customer? In my experience there are three basic reasons they don’t call back.

1. They have changed their minds but don’t want to tell you. People hate to disappoint others. They’ll avoid calling until the last possible moment, which is the most inconvenient time for you. Give people permission to change their minds. I say, “If you’ve changed your mind, that’s fine. Just let me know. It’s my policy never to assume that kind of thing. You can call or email me. I promise to take it well.” If it’s a host who lives far away from me, I’ll say, however, that if I haven’t heard from them by a particular date I’ll have to assume they aren’t going to be able to hold their party and make that date available to someone else.

2. They are swamped. This happens a lot to people. When it happens they never think to call you at a convenient time. This is why it’s important to let them know they can email or text you. That way they can do things on their schedule, not try to match yours.

3. They don’t get the message. Just today I got a call from someone whose phone had died. They wondered why they hadn’t received a call in the past couple of days. Oops. It happens. The important thing in this case is to be gracious when they call.

The cardinal rule is that you should never, ever let your frustration come through when you leave a message. Take several deep breaths, read a joke, whatever it takes to clear your head of that verbal finger-wagging you want to do. After all, if you sound like you’re going to scold them when they finally call, why would they want to pick up that phone at all?

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