How Do You Reflect on the Professionalism of Your Organization?

06/18/2010 02:01 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

I spend a decent amount of time each day reaching out to marketing exec's at banks and credit unions all over the US. I want them to list their checking accounts on FindABetterBank.

99 times out of 100, when I ring through to someone's desk, I get their voicemail (I'm pretty sure they're screening my call). In case you didn't know, voicemail is not meant as a screening tool. Its purpose is to capture a message from someone interested in speaking with you.

I don't take it personally when someone doesn't return my call. Otherwise, I'd be a pretty angry man (and the world doesn't need more angry men). But here's my gripe: Everybody's message basically says "I'll return your call as soon as possible." That's annoying if you have no intention of returning my call. Why don't you at least make it clear who you're willing to call back so people know the ground rules before leaving you a message? If you say you'll return voice messages, then return them. Simple etiquette goes a long way in a world lacking etiquette.

I really appreciate it when I get a call back (or an email), even if it's to say "not interested" or "no thanks." I respect that the person took the time to respond. But when you don't call back, despite your friendly message saying otherwise, I can only reach the conclusion that your unprofessional behavior is an indicator of your organization's unprofessional business practices.

I don't want to refer FindABetterBank users to banks or credit unions that are unprofessional. Actually, I want to tell them steer clear. (Maybe I should publish a list of banks and credit unions with execs that don't return calls?)

Even if you don't work for a bank or credit union, everybody needs to remember that they are a reflection of their organization. So if you don't make it a practice to call everybody back, change your voicemail message to something more honest. You'll be a much more successful person if you follow through on your word.