Do you answer your phone on the first ring?

Did that title hit you in the gut?

Did you feel any remorse or chagrin because of all of those times you have NOT answered your phone on the first ring?

What about all of those times you didn’t answer your phone at all . . . or sent the call immediately to voice mail.



Seth Godin chimes in on this in his blog post today . . . and somehow when “the local insurance agent or real estate broker gets rid of voice mail and starts answering the phone on the first ring” there’s some kind of game changing epiphany that happens.

Before and after

When you put the right idea into the world, people can’t unsee it.

It changes our narrative. The existence of your product, service or innovation means that everything that compares to it is now treated differently.

Once the fax existed, mail seemed slower. Once email was around, the fax seemed hopelessly analog.

Of course, these are once-in-a-lifetime tech innovations.

But at a smaller scale, the same thing happens when the first restaurant installs a salad bar, or the local insurance agent or real estate broker gets rid of voice mail and starts answering the phone on the first ring.

Once seen, they can’t be unseen.

Angels sing and the Gods of workaholism are dancing in the streets.

What ensues is a veritable orgy of “Professionals” who likely are slaves to their careers with relatively low overall quality of life.

In what other profession is it a “requirement” to answer the phone on the first ring every time?

I would argue that any professional who answers the phone on the first is lacking in the “professionalism” department.

How do these people get anything of consequence accomplished if they’re abandoning their ability to focus (on anything) and relegating their attention to the distraction of the never ending ringing of their hand-held Master?

I would say the game changer is a commitment to focused energy on each person they serve . . . without distraction . . . Showing up and being fully present for each and every client to the exclusion of the ringing of that damn phone.

Of course, we do have to deal with all these telephone calls and text messages and email messages and direct messages and marco polos, BUT we must set some boundaries and communicate these boundaries clearly to everyone with whom we are transacting business . . . and everyone in our personal lives.

Simple rules like:

  • When you call me, I will answer immediately (on the first ring) if I am available to give you my full attention.
  • If I’m with a client, I will not answer the phone. I will let it got to voicemail.
  • While you can leave me a message, I recommend you save your breath because I WILL call you back as soon as I am done with my appointment. In the interest of saving both of us time, I will not check voice mail before calling you back because if I were to do that, you would only repeat your message that you left on Voice mail . . . You will have said it twice and I will have heard it twice before we talk to each other.
  • When I call you, I will say: “Hi Jamie! I noticed you called. If you left a message, I have not heard it . . . How can I help you?”
  • If you simply need to tell me a single bit of information, send me a text . . . or better yet . . .
  • If it’s more than one sentence, but you don’t need to dialogue with me, send me an email.
  • I receive ALL of those forms of communication on my Cell Phone and will respond in kind as soon as I am available.

You can rejoice in the knowledge that, when I am with you, I will be fully present with you, and you will not have to endure incessant interruptions and hearing my conversations (some of which might be confidential) with other clients and/or other Real Estate sales professionals.

So . . . BE the professional you are!

Everyone in your personal and business worlds will honor your professionalism.

THIS will be the game changer for you.


Published by Barry Owen

Strategist-CEO of Pareto Realty Real estate sales Professional Inviter-Facilitator-Practicer of Open Space Technology Opening safe space for people & organizations to self-organize around issues & opportunities BarryOwen.US Invite-Listen-Love

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