You Must Feel Comfortable Doing the Uncomfortable – The Phone Call
We have become so reliant on text, e-mail and social media messaging as primary forms of communication, we sometimes forget the phone can be stronger and better. After all, a phone call is communication in real-time. There are times where written communication is easier and more convenient, but that does not mean it is better than the phone in all situations.
When to Make the Call
There are several times when making a phone call instead of sending an electronic communication may be necessary, such as:
- When an apology is needed. For example, you may be apologizing for a service order that took longer than anticipated to be completed or a price misquote.
- If there will be follow up questions.
- If there will be multiple questions involved. In these instances, pick up the phone. This will decrease the back and forth of e-mail and long explanations.
- If something is complicated. This situation may require a phone conversation as it will be resolved more expediently with verbal communication.
- If it is really important.
Why Use the Phone
- Empathy – The phone call allows you to express your emotions and tone in a way that cannot be done over e-mail. Your clients will love to hear your enthusiasm and empathy during the call. Doing this goes very far with building rapport.
- Inbox Overload – The voice to voice communication will cut through the clutter in your inbox. It is easy for people to miss emails, but making a call can bring you to the forefront of their mind.
- Timely Response – Your prospects may start to read emails and forget to finish or respond to emails as well. This happens to everyone because inboxes are full and people are pulled in so many different directions. Picking up the phone can help you cut through all of that.
Tips for a Successful Call
- Determine the best time to call. Try to recall their occupation or determine their work schedule. This ensures that you call during a time when they can answer the phone. If you know they work from 9 AM to 5 PM, try to give them a call around their lunch break, for example.
- Try Not to Be “Salesy”. Do not start the call with a “salesy” tone. Focus on being human and simply letting them know why you are calling them. Also, try to have a complete conversation.
- Stop Rambling. Actually listen to your customer. Keep the call to the point and be respectful of their time. Be clear on the next steps as well as this ensures everyone is on the same page.
The Sales Factors
- Time and Day of the Week Focus on touching base when it is not during the workday. Try to tweak your call times to when you will get the best results.
- What is the Ask? Determine what your “ask” is, such as resident referrals versus getting the lease signed before the promotion expires. The latter warrants a call whereas the former can be handled through email.
- The Number of Decision Makers If you have a high number of decision makers, emails may be best. However, if you have less than three decision makers, a phone call may be best.
- The Prospect Persona Figure out your prospect’s persona and how they want to communicate as well. If your prospect’s persona is younger, they may be less inclined to answer or respond to phone calls. However, older personas may prefer phone calls, so be mindful of this as well.
When you are trying to build a rapport with your prospect or new resident, the phone can be the best way to accomplish this. Do not forget to use this valuable tool alongside emails and other modes of communication.
Misty Sanford, Founder
North of Creative