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tinyfaery's avatar

Business professionals: Do you have any tips or tricks to get people to respond to your communications?

Asked by tinyfaery (42728points) November 12th, 2009

I deal with a lot of attorneys and their assistants for my work. Whatever the reason, many of these people do not respond to communications. I call and leave messages, I fax, I email. I do any combination of the 3 multiple times and still no response.

Anybody have any suggestions as to how I can get these assholes to contact me? Really. Sometimes it takes weeks and my boss gets irritated with me. As if it’s my fault.

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10 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

What do you want to talk to them about? Do they need you, or do you need them?

When you do talk to them, what kind of attitude do you display? If you think of them as assholes, they will feel that. It won’t motivate them to get back to you.

Anyway, if you provide more information, I might be able to come up with an idea or two.

Siren's avatar

Maybe put a face to the voice? Walk over there one day (if they’re close enough for you to do so) and introduce yourself. Tell them you understand how busy they are, and if there is any way you can help them get back to you faster, any steps YOU can do that will make THEIR job easier. I don’t know if this suggestion is valid but it doesn’t look like you have a lot of options with the exception of discussing this with their bosses (if they have any). Good luck.

sndfreQ's avatar

If it’s official business I tag email subject lines with “ACTION REQUESTED: ” and then the subject. It’s a bit bold, but it seems to help. Of course, if you haven’t established a business relationship, then, cold calls/emails are tough indeed.

editingdiva's avatar

Well, there’s always that old stand-by: “Call me. I have good news.”
Used sparingly, it still works!

tinyfaery's avatar

Most of the stuff I deal with is ordered by the Court, so it is their best interest to respond. The attorneys I work for are very professional, but many are not. If we wanted to we could file a Motion for sanctions, and sometimes we do.

I am very friendly, polite and professional with everyone I encounter, whether on the phone or in person. It is my ability to deal with the public that got me a raise before I had been there even a year. Odd, huh? Me? Good with the public? I guess it comes from my years of counseling.

I usually do not have the chance to meet these people. We sometimes have attorneys in for Depositions and whatnot, but the amount of time I see these people and the interactions we have are not significant.

Example: I need to set a date for Court ordered Mediation. The opposing party filed for a continuance twice already. It is their responsibility to contact me to coordinate. But, because I am nice (tyvm) I went ahead and looked at the attorney’s schedule and offered the other some side some dates. I emailed. Then a reminder email. I called and left a message. I faxed, and faxed again. Ahhhhh!!!! WTF?

RedPowerLady's avatar

@tinyfaery Could you send a mail with the date highlighted? Also a postcard attached to the document that simply says “must respond by such and such date or the consequence is such and such” but make it short and bold lettered. You could also include a postcard with a stamp that says “I am having difficulties answering this response, I feel it might be late” for people to turn in if they think they will be late. At least it’ll give you an idea of what is going on.

I think the real problem is the field you are in. People simply would prefer to ignore these types of things or put them off as long as possible. It is their psychology you are working with here.

tinyfaery's avatar

@RedPowerLady

That’s a great idea. I can send them the Court notice with my fax and emphasize the deadlines. Unfortunately, I can’t threaten anyone (even vaguely). My boss would not approve.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@tinyfaery I understand about the threats. I meant more stating the natural consequences but I even understand if you can’t do that.

Thanx.

wundayatta's avatar

Do some customer research. Find out why they delay things. Then figure out how to address that issue.

Just interview one or two. Take them out to lunch or something. Free food is usually pretty appealing. But find out what is holding them back. Then figure out how to help them address that issue.

tinyfaery's avatar

Customer? These are not our clients they are the opposing side.

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