How Timely is Your Response?

By Jane Atkinson

David Avrin does it.

Ryan Estis does it.

Lisa Larter does it.

Joe Calloway does it.

All of these people take their business response time very, very seriously.

They endeavor to get back to people with such speed that it makes the client’s head spin.

I love it and I think we should all strive to do the same. (This tip is as much for me as it is for others as I become more intentional about speed in my own business.)

Why?

Because in an industry where there is a sea of choices, you might not be the flavor of the month, you might only be the flavor of that minute. And when you don’t respond quickly, the client moves on to the next speaker on the list.

Let’s imagine we are a decision maker putting together a list of speakers for our annual conference.

Our marketing people want program descriptions, photos and bios right away so that they can start advertising the conference. The/my goal is to get it down to two speakers. We start with ten speakers, whittle it down to six and then finally three. Then we set up phone calls with them.

The speakers who respond quickly in the above scenario, may move on to the short list. The short list might be decided before some people even respond!

This actually happened as I was booking speakers for one of my live events.

One speaker, who I’ll call Ernest, took ten days, two emails and a phone call to get back to me. Now, because I’m a coach, I realize that Ernest is an awesome person who simply lacks good systems and protocols in his business.

I like Ernest and we may still do business in the future, but I was under a deadline and Ernest got passed over because of a lack of speed.

The next speaker on my list responded on the day that I emailed, and we were on the phone discussing the event a day or two later.

What are your systems and protocols to ensure that business doesn’t fall through the cracks?

Here are a few questions that may spur thought and action:

  • How quickly do you respond to an email? (What’s your protocol?)
  • When you get a voicemail, what’s your time frame to return the call?
  • What about when you are on the road?
  • Do you have an assistant who could be checking emails for new business?
  • Who follows up your web inquiries?
  • When you get overloaded with emails, what’s your strategy for pairing it back? How do you organize your inbox?
  • Do you have autoresponders on for when you are on vacation? Or out of pocket?

Bottom line is this: If you are so busy speaking that you can’t keep up with incoming inquiries, you likely need to consider a new hire – an assistant that can help you keep track of things and take some of the burden off of your shoulders.

Don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t been doing a good job; just commit to doing better!

See you soon, Wealthy Speakers!