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An Inside Line on Return Calls

August 12, 1996|PAMM HIGGINS

Tired of waiting for the phone to ring?

"I'll Get Back to You: 156 Ways to Get People to Return Your Calls" (McGraw-Hill) is full of ploys for getting that certain someone to pick up the horn and punch in your number. Here is a sampling of approaches, culled by co-authors Robert L. Shook and Eric Yaverbaum, from all kinds of professionals.

Groveling:

"First, I try gratitude. 'I would really be sooo grateful for a few minutes of your time.'

"Pleading comes next. 'Puhleeeeeeeaze call me back.'

"If that fails, I go into begging mode. 'If you don't call me, I'm going to be in so much trouble. I beg of you, call me.' "

--Peter Golenbock, author

*

Pestering:

"I phone. I fax. I phone. I fax. I phone. I fax. I'm sure they just call me back to get rid of me. . . ."

--Georgette Mosbacher, businesswoman

*

Bribing:

"After many futile attempts . . . I came up with an idea. I sent [the intended target] a telephone that had a speed dial feature--a novelty at the time--and I programmed it so my phone number was on every speed dial!"

--Eric Yaverbaum, public relations executive and co-author of "I'll Get Back to You"

*

Name-dropping:

"I like to use the name of a third party. . . . If I'm calling a producer, for instance, I might say, 'I'm calling at the suggestion of Tom Cruise,' or perhaps Julia Roberts. . . . There is no way he'll want to blow me off and as a consequence offend that person."

--Jay Bernstein, Hollywood agent

*

Sucking up (to the secretary):

" 'You sound so wonderful. How long has "Mr. Big" had you running his life?' "

--W. Randall Jones, CEO, Worth magazine

*

Instilling fear:

" 'This is Brian Williams from the National Enquirer, and I want to read to you what I am writing about you before we publish. But I need to hear from you by 3 this afternoon.' "

--Brian Williams, senior editor, National Enquirer

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