When you are told by a professional they will call you late, you may feel put on the back burner. Try to see it from their point of view though. They may need time to review information or to talk to a supervisor.
An event or project may be in the works but not moving forward yet. Perhaps you just met them at a social gathering and they are going to reach out to talk business with you.
As a professional response to “I Will Call You Later,” you can say thank you and emphasize that you look forward to hearing back. Ask for an estimated time frame and follow up if the promised callback did not happen.
Always thank other professionals for taking the time to talk to you. It doesn’t matter if you just met them or if you have connected with them previously. Their time is valuable and you should appreciate that.
When you are positive and sincere, it also encourages them to reach out to you. They will avoid those that are rude or pushy because that isn’t the type of person they wish to work with.
What to Say:
“It was wonderful talking to you today, I realize you have a busy schedule. We will get time to talk longer and discuss this further soon.”
“I appreciate your time today; your insight has helped me see things from a new perspective.”
“You have been very helpful, and I am excited for us to talk again.”
“I feel much better about the challenges with all of this now that you and I have talked a bit about it.”
“This is exciting, there is so much I can learn from you.”
Let Them Know You Look Forward to Hearing from Them
Strive to keep it positive. While you may be disappointed you have to wait to hear from them, let them know you are looking forward to it. This gesture on your part will put them at ease.
They won’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call you when they have free time or further information to share with you.
What to Say:
“I am excited to talk with you further, I am excited about our upcoming call.”
“I hope to hear from you soon, there is so much I wish to discuss with you.”
“I am looking forward to it, please call at your earliest convenience.”
“You are highly recommended for this, and I am encouraged by what you have shared so far.”
“I will make a list of questions we have so that when you call, I have it all ready and we can make progress on those topics.”
Verify They Have Your Correct Information
If you haven’t talked to them on the phone before, verify they have your correct information.
Give them the number to call you back at. If you see them in person, give them a business card.
You never want to assume they have your details.
What to Say:
“Which number do you have for me? This is the best one to reach me at since I am often out of the office.”
“Here is my card with my contact information.”
“I will send you an email with the specs we talked about and my phone numbers.”
“Since I am out of the office so much, I will give you my cell number. It is the best one to connect with me at.”
“My secretary can schedule a time for us to talk if I am unavailable when you call.”
Try to Pinpoint a Timeframe or Appointment
Try to get a timeframe for the phone call or better yet, schedule an appointment for the call to take place.
This will help put your mind at ease so that you will hear from them in a timely fashion. You don’t want to feel like you just have to wait or you are being blown off by the line that they will call you later.
What to Say:
“Can I expect to hear from you next week? I would like to talk before our next board meeting so I can share our conversation with others.”
“Do you have a minute to schedule a day and time for us to book the call? I know we both have hectic schedules. Carving out a time that works for both of us ensures we can communicate easily.”
“It is hard to reach me by phone, can we put something on the schedule? I have next Wednesday or Thursday morning open. How does that work for you?”
“Thanks for checking into this for us, I will be waiting to hear from you in the next week or so.”
“I don’t have my calendar with me, do you mind if I call your office Monday to see what times and days you are free?”
Follow Up with Them If You Don’t Get a Call
If that call doesn’t come in as expected, don’t be shy about following up with them. They may have forgotten or lost your contact details.
When you follow up, be polite but remind them you were to get a call back from them. They will quickly realize you are a professional contact that stays on top of things!
What to Say:
“Hi, this is Jim. I was expecting a call from you last week to talk more about the proposal we discussed. I am following up to see when we can have that discussion. Thanks.”
“I would like to see if the job (enter title here) has been filled. I thought I would get a call by now regarding it. I am wondering if the decision is still up in the air or if it has already been finalized.”
“I am sure you are busy, but can you make some time to return my call? I really need to get that information from you before my impending deadline.”
Katie Holmes is a senior author at everyday-courtesy.com with over 15 years of experience in marketing and psychology. As a freelance consultant, she also supports companies and executives in overcoming communication challenges. Katie is a passionate digital nomad working on her first book on the art of communication.