DAWN GRACIE: We’re all busy, but don’t send the wrong message

Next time you use ‘I’ve been busy’ as an excuse for not getting back to someone, just think how that might be received.

It’s a pet hate of mine and immediately gets my back up regardless of who it is saying it.

Not even to the unwelcome 5pm sales calls do I say it, because it implies that I’ve been meaning to get back to them, which would be a lie.

So my standard response is: “Unless I’ve contacted you, I’m really not in the market for what you’re selling. Thank you.”

That is direct, says exactly what I mean and leaves no room for discussion.

However, if someone is calling me to follow up a previous communication and I’ve been a little tardy with my response, I’ll firstly apologise and then give the brief, honest reason for the delay.

If the person contacting me is someone I’m doing business with, then simply ‘sorry, I’ve been busy’ sends out all the wrong messages, primarily that they’re not important enough for me to give them the time of day.

That is why I find it so insulting if directed my way because I am, like most, very busy but that’s because I have customers who are usually blissfully unaware of how busy I actually am!