Think you can't think this way? Think again. Just resist going down the traditional road. No matter how crazy it sounds at first, keep doing it over and over again on everything you do. Eventually it will be second nature to you and you will have learned to zig. So, remember: Don't always follow the crowd; follow your own instincts and unique way of doing things. Experiment, diversify, dare to take calculated risks on a regular basis. In other words, "always zig when other people zag."
Want a great way to increase business, get promoted, be successful, and have everyone say how great you are? Drumroll please…. Return your phone calls! Think about it for a minute: don't you just hate it when people don't return your calls? It works both ways. Most people get very agitated, if not offended, when you don't return their calls. It's crazy, but we now accept that it will take two or three calls before we get one in return, and we can't stop talking about how nice someone is when he or she returns our first call. How many people reading this book have started a telephone conversation with someone who calls back quickly, saying, appreciatively, "Thanks for calling me back"? When you think about it, why should we be thanking someone for performing the most basic of business courtesies? I wonder what our life would have been like if we didn't return the call from the (Quikut) Ginsu factory? Perhaps someone else would be writing this book.
Don't return your calls and you'll never know if you missed that big deal or opportunity that could have changed your life. That important call could be right there on hold, and you are blowing it off by telling your receptionist or secretary, "Put them in voice mail." If you are that good to be able to know which calls are important and which ones are not, then you should be in Las Vegas instead of reading this book on how to improve your life. For every phone call you return promptly, you create an ambassador of goodwill … for you! For every call you blow off, who knows?
Now perhaps you are one of those people who doesn't return phone calls because you have nothing to say. Nothing has changed since the last time you spoke and you still have no answer to give the person who is calling. No decision has been made yet, so why call back or take the call? Good strategy, right? Wrong. Why? Because it's unprofessional and could come back to bite you in the butt someday. What could be easier and have more of an effect in creating an advocate for you than saying, "I still don't have an answer, but check back with me in a couple of weeks" (in the case of a vendor) or "I'll get back to you as soon as I have the answer" (in the case of a client). That 30-second call leaves the caller with the lasting impression that you are a thoughtful, courteous, and efficient person to take the time and make the effort to update him. How do you know what role that person will have on your life in the future? You don't. Perhaps he will someday be in a position to give you or your son or daughter a job. Or maybe you'll need a favor someday. Treat all these people as if they will be back in your life someday and will help you. You will be amazed at how fast the word will travel about you and how much your career or business will benefit from this small change, even though you may never hear directly what other people are saying about you in a positive way.