I’m busy — please send me an email = a lost contract worth US$10,000 per month?

My assistant and I have been calling companies in India recently. We find that less than 10% of the companies on our directory had satisfactory communication skills. People were not answering the phone in a professional way. There was just a dull, “Hullo” at host of the companies we called. It is our practice to put the companies with better communication skills towards the top of the list.

But, what about the people who DID answer their phone, and even might have been professional the way they answered? Many people were too busy to talk to us. We understand that you might be busy, and might have 20 things going on simultaneously. We are busy too. However, if you do what Americans call “Blowing people off” (making some excuse not to talk to someone, show up someplace, or do something), you might lose critical clients.

Your success as a business depends on CATCHING new clients. New clients don’t grow on trees. They call when they feel like calling, and if you don’t have someone who can not only answer the phone, but also speak intelligently for a few minutes; you will lose business. What if were were offering a one million dollar contract to an Indian BPO company, and the 1st ten companies either didn’t answer their phone or told us to “send us an email, we are too busy to talk to you”. Do you think that I would send them an email? Or, do you think that I would move on to the next company down the line who would actually engage us in a conversation?

I have learned that people who can interact nicely with people are much more likely to catch new clients — especially if their firm has the technical skills to handle the job. If you tell someone to sent you and email — you are telling them that you don’t value their business.

On the other hand, if you have an existing client who is bothering you about a small thing, then you can ask them to send an email. Or, if your company’s reputation is so amazing that people would rather wait for you than go to a comparable firm that answers their phone — then, you are in business. But, for calls from strangers (cold calls), you can not afford to be too busy to talk to them. Hire someone good to answer your phone! Preferably one that speaks good English, and Hindi, and perhaps a few other languages on the side.

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