How to avoid "voice jail."
How many times have you found yourself talking to someone's voice mail? I call it "voice jail!"
First, you can often avoid getting into voice jail by properly talking with the secretary or assistant. Her instinct and training drive her to get rid of you and into her boss' voice mail as soon as possible. You can make her feel comfortable and relaxed with you by being relaxed yourself. If you set up a conflict, she will win. So, relax, go easy and you will get what you want. What do you want? You want to talk directly to the boss. You do not want to leave a message. You do not want to go to voice jail. So here is a routine that will help you relax and get the job done:
"ABC Company. May I help you?"
"Yes. I'm Steve Savage. (slowly) I'm calling Suzanne Jones."
"Let me put you through to her secretary."
"Suzanne Jones' office, Mary speaking."
"Hi Mary! I'm Steve Savage. I'm calling Suzanne Jones."
"What company are you with?"
"Savage International. Just tell her that Betty Harkness asked me to call her."
"Ms. Jones is in a meeting. I'll have her call you. What is your number?"
"OK! Great. What time will her meeting be over?"
"Perfect. I'll call her at 11:05."
Then you hang up. You agreed with everything she said, but you stayed in control. You did not give her your number. Why? Because it is a waste of time. Suzanne Jones will not call you back. You will be frustrated. But you didn't get into a fight with Mary the secretary. You agreed with everything she said and you remained friendly. In the end, you got what you wanted - a good time to call her back. The next time you call, Mary the secretary will be a little friendlier because she remembers you from last time.
So, now let's say you call back and Mary suggests voice mail. Here's how it goes:
"Hey Mary! Steve Savage calling back. Is Suzanne out of that meeting?"
"No, they are still going hot and heavy. Let me put you through to her voice mail."
"Let's do this. I know Suzanne and you are really busy. I have to go to a meeting myself. What time this afternoon would be the best time to call her back?"
"Well, I guess she'll be available at about 3 PM."
"Perfect! I'll call you at 3! Thanks so much for your help!"
Again, you avoided leaving a message and you avoided voice jail. You remained friendly with Mary and you found out a good time to call back. The third time you call back, Mary is much more likely to put you through. She is the one who told you the time to call back. You treated her with respect and friendliness. And you get what you want - and phone connection with the boss!
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