Why you should answer your phone and say, "I'll call you right back!"
If at all possible, you should always answer your phone, even if you don't have time to talk, and say, "I'll call you right back!" This does several things which are beneficial both to you and your clients.
The most important thing is that your client is acknowledged. Having a phone call go immediately to voice mail tells most people that you have much more important things to do than answer their call, which is pretty insulting to an important client! If they really do need to talk to you, they will probably just keep calling, hoping to catch you, or worse, leave a voice mail.
And that's another advantage to answering the phone and promising to call right back - it discourages voice mail messages. And the problem with a voice mail message is that you have to stop and listen to it, and then remember the substance of it when you call back. If you've ever just called someone back who has left a detailed voice mail, you know how annoyed they can be, because they probably have already forgotten what they said.
And the single most important reason to answer your phone and say, "I'll call you right back!" is how busy it makes you look. It's kind'a like piling a bunch of paper on your desk - people recognize the busyness of it. And they are flattered that, in spite of all of your other demands on your time, you looked at your phone, answered with their name, and promised to call them back.
Oh yeah, and after you say, "I'll call you right back", be sure to hang up right away. People will want to talk to you, anyway. Once they realize that the call has ended, they will hang up. And there'll be no chance for them to leave a voice mail - which is just a waste of time, anyway.
Posted by Brad Hall