The Third Message

Not getting the callback you had hoped for?  Here’s a bit of advice a mentor once shared with me when I experienced a similar frustration.  It goes like this… You’ve been trying to connect with the CEO of a potential client company for months.  Your paths finally cross at a networking reception, business cards are exchanged and you promise to follow up.  The next day, you place your first call to the individual… as expected, you get voice mail and leave your first message:

Hi, Mrs. Smith, it’s Jane calling.  I enjoyed meeting you in person last night at the ABC reception.  As promised, I am following up in hopes that we can schedule coffee in the next few weeks to discuss the weather.  I can be reached at 123-456-7890 and look forward to hearing back from you.

And, so, you wait… and nothing happens.  You allow a respectable amount of time to go by, maybe a week, and you pick up the phone to place your second call… as expected, you get voice mail and leave your second message:

Hi, Mrs. Smith, it’s Jane calling you back.  As mentioned in my previous message, I’m just following up from our conversation at the ABC reception.  Hoping to get 20 minutes on your calendar for coffee to talk about the weather.  Again, I can be reached at 123-456-7890 and look forward to hearing back from you.

Again, you wait… and nothing happens.  Now, it’s time to get serious!  Again, you allow a respectable amount of time to go by, maybe another week, and you pick up the phone to place your THIRD AND FINAL call… as expected, you get voice mail and here’s what you say:

Hello, Mrs. Smith, it’s Jane Doe.  This is the third and final time that I will follow up with you as it is not my intention to be a pest.  As I mentioned in my previous messages, I am simply following up with you from our conversation at the ABC reception.  I hope to get 20 minutes with you to discuss the weather.  Obviously, I have not caught you at times that have been convenient.  If your situation changes and you would like to follow up with me, I welcome your call.  I can be reached at 123-456-7890.  Thank you!

More often than not, you will discover that the third time is a charm!  Whether by guilt or genuine interest, chances are that you will get that return phone call.  No matter the case, expect one of these things to happen:

  1. You Advance Toward Your Goal.  Mrs. Smith will call you back and grant you that 20 minute meeting to discuss the weather or ways to achieve world peace or whatever topic it is that you want to review with her.
  2. You Box-Up Your Gear and Move to Another Pond.  Mrs. Smith either does or does not call you back. If she does, but says she is not interested, you have your answer.  If she does not, you have your answer still.  Time to “fish where the fish are” and move on to other prospects, opportunities, relationships.

Try it.  See if leaving the third message works for you.  I’d love your feedback – please share your stories with me and with the CLC community.

4 thoughts to “The Third Message”

  1. Brilliant! This is an approach based on mutual respect of you and the other person. People who have something to offer can’t afford to waste their time. And people who want to solve their problems won’t let the opportunity slip by. Getting to an answer is critical. Thanks for sharing this simple advice!

    1. Thanks for your thoughtful remarks, Lawrence. This is a great way to get a response — one way or another! Hope it works well for you, as is has for me. Cheers!

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