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Old 03-20-2008, 05:14 PM
 
Location: Boca Raton, FL
5,665 posts, read 9,281,733 times
Reputation: 7454

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My husband and I are both self employed in different businesses. From time to time, we get clients who babysit us. Three, four calls a day. I mean, puleeze!!! How can you tell them nicely that the more phone calls, you can't get their work done?

Have you ever been guilty of this and how would you respond?
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Old 03-20-2008, 05:22 PM
 
Location: In a chartreuse microbus
3,866 posts, read 5,576,712 times
Reputation: 8063
Is it possible to screen calls? If not, I'd give them the chance to ask any questions, then give them a specific day that they can call to get a 'progress report', if that's what they're seeking. Other than that, they would talk to my voicemail.
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Old 03-20-2008, 05:47 PM
 
4,711 posts, read 11,374,945 times
Reputation: 3783
One sure way to stop it is put it on their bill!

My CPA does....it's right there on my statement..."Phone call, 15 minutes....$50.00.

Needless to say, I don't call them to say HI....
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Old 03-20-2008, 07:48 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
1,036 posts, read 3,752,902 times
Reputation: 505
Express your commitment to communication (and live up to it) and that if you had news (good or bad) you will call, but that the time you are taking away prevents you from getting the job done.

Not sure what businesses you are in, but many times clients are just nervous and calling allows them to vent and makes them feel progress is being made. They worry that silence is a bad sign and that the "squeaky wheel gets the grease".
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Old 03-20-2008, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Boca Raton, FL
5,665 posts, read 9,281,733 times
Reputation: 7454
Smile Client....

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcarrillo View Post
Express your commitment to communication (and live up to it) and that if you had news (good or bad) you will call, but that the time you are taking away prevents you from getting the job done.

Not sure what businesses you are in, but many times clients are just nervous and calling allows them to vent and makes them feel progress is being made. They worry that silence is a bad sign and that the "squeaky wheel gets the grease".
Same as you!! My husband is a CPA and the calls get to him and his office staff is spineless sometimes. He will say "No calls" and then all of sudden, I hear - "Oh, but Mr. Smith says he really needs to talk to you....." - and he just spoke to Mr. Smith at 8 PM last night, that type of thing.

I'm a good e-mailer and status updater (on e-mail) which I do at night so usually I don't deal with a lot of that. But I know the type.
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Old 03-20-2008, 10:17 PM
 
5,359 posts, read 10,246,033 times
Reputation: 4374
Give a periodic (daily or weekly or monthly or whatever) progress report and it might diminish. If you can do it with a short e-mail it takes very little effort and can be done without interrupting your own work.

Status/progress reporting is part of good Project Management. Folks that think their project is being handled well tend to drop the worry.
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Old 03-21-2008, 06:44 AM
 
Location: Oz
2,238 posts, read 9,149,025 times
Reputation: 1381
Simple answer to this one. Let them all know that your phone hours are during a certain block of time, and that they're welcome to call you then. Once those hours -- maybe a block of two hours in the morning or something -- have passed, you let the calls go to voicemail.
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Old 03-22-2008, 09:46 AM
 
69,360 posts, read 58,081,855 times
Reputation: 9372
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bette View Post
My husband and I are both self employed in different businesses. From time to time, we get clients who babysit us. Three, four calls a day. I mean, puleeze!!! How can you tell them nicely that the more phone calls, you can't get their work done?

Have you ever been guilty of this and how would you respond?
Try to communicate by emails if possible.. That allows you to get back to them on your schedule, and allows you to consolidate emails into one email, end of day etc.
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Old 03-22-2008, 02:59 PM
 
Location: 'Burbs of Manhattan
470 posts, read 1,392,734 times
Reputation: 134
Either have them contact you by e-mail (even though that's not as assuring).
Or, when they call the first time, be like "I expect to get started with your work within an hour or two, I will call you ASAP if anything goes wrong."

Etc. :x It must be tough. Haha.
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Old 03-22-2008, 06:37 PM
 
69,360 posts, read 58,081,855 times
Reputation: 9372
Quote:
Originally Posted by metropolistraffic View Post
Either have them contact you by e-mail (even though that's not as assuring).
Or, when they call the first time, be like "I expect to get started with your work within an hour or two, I will call you ASAP if anything goes wrong."

Etc. :x It must be tough. Haha.
I'm self employed and work from home. I have moved all contact to emails for various reasons.

1) Legal reason, I have a method of logging all communcations
2) Timing, I can get back to them on my schedule, which sometimes is in the middle of the night
3) So my phone doesnt ring off the hook. When it does ring I know its family
4) I can do things like run to the store on my schedule, and no need to justify to a client where I was 30 minutes ago when they left a voice mail.
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