Sign & Digital Graphics

August '18

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24 • August 2018 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S RUNNING THE BUSINESS unfailingly and genuinely polite. Do not allow your frustration of not being able to speak to the person directly spill over into your message. Compare and contrast the "body" of these voicemail messages: Poor: "My company is a respected sign and digital graphics shop. We spe- cialize in wayfinding signage, storefront LED signs and P.O.P. displays. I'm calling to find out if you might be interested in learning more about us." Average: "When we met at a trade show a while back, you mentioned that business was poor and it wasn't a good time to talk. I'm calling now to find out if you'd be interested in taking advantage of a sign and graphics special my com- pany is having." Better: "When we spoke last month at THE NBM SHOW, you suggested I call you around now to schedule a time when we could discuss your particular situation (note: try to be specific here) and evalu- ate several possible solutions to the chal- lenges you were having. (pause) Would next Tuesday at 11 work for you? (pause)" The most common misuse of voice- mail involves trying to do too much with one message. Most business owners would agree that voicemail messages like the first two above are not the best ways to pro- mote a product line, highlight its exclusive features, and give customers the impres- sion that you're are a good listener or that you have their best interests in mind. Good voicemail is like Asian cooking. Many years ago, I was advised to take a lesson from the practices of Asian chefs when trying to improve my electronic communications, in both voicemail and email. I was as puzzled hearing that advice as you may be reading it, but there is a logical reason why Asian cuisine is prepared in the manner it is. Asian food is cut and prepared into bite-sized pieces, so that much of the work required for eating it has already been taken care of. It is quickly cooked as in stir-fried, for example, or not cooked at all, as in the case of sushi, so as to preserve the food's nutrition and taste. When hot and spicy flavorings are added, Quick Tips for Voicemail Excellence • Consider the right medium for your message. If you have more information than can fit in a 30-second message, hit the highlights in a voicemail and refer the other party to a forth- coming email that will contain the details. • Rehearse your voicemail message by sending it to yourself first. • Be persistent, but don't become a pest. • For longer messages, conclude your message (even if you've led with it) with your name, phone number and appreciation, in advance, for a return call.

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