Don't answer your own phoneSo you’ve got a great office, an unbeatable business plan, and the phone’s ringing. All set for success, right? Just one more thing: Who’s answering that phone? If you’re a business owner, you might want to think twice before picking up the receiver. Whether it means hiring an in-house receptionist, using an answering service, or having Ruby’s crackerjack virtual receptionist staff field your calls, here are three reasons you may not want to do your own phone answering:

  1. Answering your own phone can make you seem unprofessional. “Hello, Bob’s Financial Planning, this is Bob.” The greeting doesn’t exactly make Bob seem like the guy you want to trust with your retirement, right? It’s not often that the owner of a successful business has time to be on the front lines, phone-wise. No matter how big or small your company, answering your own phones can cause callers to second-guess your reputability.
  2. Answering your own phone can be off-putting to a caller. So you’re the gal or guy in charge — you’d think callers would be thrilled to speak with you right off the bat! But that’s not always the case. Callers may be startled or nervous when greeted by the head honcho. Ruby client Ernest Svenson wrote about the issue in this post for his blog, Ernie the Attorney: “I have found that clients feel much more comfortable engaging me if they’ve spoken to a receptionist than if I answered my phone myself.  It may not make sense, but that’s the way it is.”
  3. Answering your own phone takes up precious time. Sure, you want to stay in touch with your clients, and answering the phone may seem like a great way to do that. But answering phone calls can be disruptive, and not every call needs your immediate attention. Ask yourself this: What do your clients need most from you? Do they need you to be at-the-ready any time they call? Or do they need you to have the time, space, and creative freedom to make quality decisions? If the answer is the latter, then give yourself a break from picking up the phone, at least when you need to focus.

Do you answer your own phone? We’d love to hear your feedback — please comment!