Once you’ve got an established presence online and even listings in business publications, you will start getting phone calls asking you to participate in this directory, or sign up for this program or something else. I decided a long time ago that I won’t commit to anything over the phone. I need to see it in writing. Email is fine, as is fax or a written letter, but if someone wants me to commit to something, which invariably may require a payment, then I won’t commit to it over the phone and will always ask to see it in writing first. If they decline then I just say, thanks anyway and goodbye. It’s amazing how many don’t actually follow through.
Why do I do this? A number of reasons:
- It’s easy for anyone to tell you you committed to something over the phone and you have no proof that you didn’t, especially if you have no memory of it. So I say ‘no’ to everything over the phone and ask for it in writing.
- Seeing it in writing gives me a chance to read, re-read and research whatever that thing is and get the real facts.
- I get to make a decision in my own timing and not because of a sudden blood rush to the head. Nor do I feel as pressured to commit when I’ve had a chance to think.
Because I’ve made this a policy of my own for myself and my business, it means I can be adamant and positive that I didn’t commit to anything over the phone whenever someone tries to tell me that I have. And believe me, they do try to tell you that they spoke to you, or someone in your office, just last week. I’ve even had invoices sent to me for something I did not order (usually a directory listing) based on a supposed phone conversation with me. I can rest assured knowing I didn’t commit… because that has been my policy for years.
Protect yourself and your business by working out simple procedures and guidelines that will work for you.