One thing I notice in every workshop is how reluctant people are to leave messages. Admittedly the return realized on messages has declined over the past 10 years – probably over the last 5 years – but leaving a message for someone you are trying to reach still does deliver a lot of value to you and your company. And leaving messages will increase your revenue. It won’t increase it by 50%, or even by 10%, but it will increase it by about 2% over the year. I don’t know about you, but for me that’s a good return on my investment. Why are messages valuable? First, they are good marketing. Having a potential client hear your company name on a consistent basis is valuable; it increases brand awareness. Second, and more important, people do return calls and when they do, today more than ever before, they have set aside the time to talk and listen. Sure there are fewer people returning messages today than there were 5 years ago, but those that do are ready and willing to investigate a possible relationship. When you don’t leave messages, you are holding on too tightly, trying to control how your relationship with someone is going to take place. Leaving messages loosens things up a bit, allows your potential clients and clients to have some of the control, gives them the ability to reach out to you when it best suits their schedule and needs. And that’s a powerful choice to give someone. Third, leaving a message is, quite simply, professional and courteous. And aren’t these characteristics we want to convey on a daily basis? I realize that since I’m going to tell you to leave messages, then I also need to give you a bit more information on the “how”, so stay tuned. And, of course, ask questions, or start a debate, at anytime.