If you receive a call from an unknown number on your business phone, do you always answer it? It could be a potential client calling (cue the excitement). Since first impressions are very important, it is best to let the call go to voice mail if:
There is a baby or young child with you. Nothing screams unprofessional more than a crying baby or whining toddler in the background of a business call. Wait until your kid(s) are napping or when a sitter or spouse is taking care of them. Barking dogs also present a challenge to maintaining a professional image when talking to a potential client.
You are driving. It’s safer and more professional to wait until you can pull over or until you are back in the office. If you answer a call while driving, it’s impossible to take notes, check your calendar or have complete focus on this potential new client.
You are heading into a meeting. Set yourself up for success by having enough time to focus and really listen without feeling rushed.
You are in a noisy environment. Shopping malls, grocery stores and restaurants aren’t ideal locations to answer potential calls from clients. It’s best to let the call go to voice mail and return the message when you are in a quiet environment.
You are with a client. Unless you are expecting an urgent personal or business call, let your phone go to voice mail when you are in a meeting with a client or vendor. Give your undivided attention to the person sitting next to you then return phone messages after the meeting.
Are there other situations when you let your business phone go straight to voice mail?