Again, any routine that will work is perfect. Some use a three-ring notebook and make copious notes when retrieving a call from voice mail and then checks each message off as the call is returned.
Some find the two-part phone message books are all they need.
Originally, I created a phone message page in Microsoft Word, printing it out and now use Excel because I receive about 30 messages a day. This makes it easy to search. I don’t like having to keep track o little pieces of paper. Here’s an example of my phone page:
RET RT REF NAME AC PHONE FAX
The “Date” indicates the day the call came in. No matter how hard we try, we are bound to make typos and inadvertently transpose numbers. When I enter the information into the database, I include the date of the original call in the “Contact Date” Field for a later reference.
Their phone number is in the next column. Often, they leave a cell number as well. I just put a “c” to the far right to indicate the difference and it’s more easily spotted.
Once I’ve called them, if they’re a prospect, I enter their information into the computer and put a wide marker above their phone number. This eliminates double entries in the database.
When the purpose of the call has been completed, I put a vertical line through their name and company. If there are only a couple of calls left on the page, I’ll put a paper clip at the phone number for a quick reference. I refer to each paper clip on Monday morning and try to complete the calls. When every call on the page is complete, I mark a large “X” in the bottom right corner of the page. All of the pages are kept in a binder. When the binder gets too full, I move pages out to a storage box.
Since I created this phone call system, I rarely have forgotten or missed returning any call. It has saved me a great deal of anxiety in the long run.