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The #1 Way to Increase Phone Conversations with Prospects and Customers

July 28, 2018
Mary Jane Copps

Last week I received an email request from a not-for-profit in Toronto. They had found my website and were looking for information on how I might help them with fundraising calls. I happened to be at my desk when the request came in and I called back within 5 minutes but … I got voicemail. While leaving a message I was frantically scanning my calendar for a date and time we could connect. I didn’t want to create phone tag, drag out the time between their request and our conversation. Fortunately … there’s an app for this!

Truth: It is increasingly difficult to reach someone when we phone them – and this is not going to improve. Everyone is overwhelmed and protective of the time they have to focus on important projects.

The solution: Understand that today, a phone call is a meeting. Book it, get it into everyone’s calendar, honour that time with your full attention.

In the example above, I left a voicemail saying that my assistant, Heather, would follow up with an email and the ability to book a convenient time for us to have our conversation.

Heather and I have fully embraced Calendly as our scheduling app (there are other choices that may better suit how you work). It allows us to send an email that allows the other person to see when I’m available for a conversation. They see the days I am free, and when they choose a specific day, they only see the times I am available. They can book our phone conversation when it best suits their schedule and the appointment appears in both our calendars.

Making use of this technology eliminates hours of phone tag and clearly illustrates to clients and prospects our respect for their time. It also makes me much (much) more efficient.

When approaching prospects, a scheduling app clearly communicates your respect for their time and your professionalism. By combining voicemail and email you can improve your results and capture the full attention of your target market. For example:

Voicemail Message: Hi David, This is Mary Jane Copps contacting you from The Phone Lady. I was viewing your LinkedIn profile yesterday. As someone leading a team of outbound salespeople, I do have one quick question for you and would appreciate a 15-minute phone conversation. Rather than create phone tag,  I’m going to take the liberty of sending you an email with options to schedule our conversation. I want to make it work with your busy schedule. Look forward to hearing from you. If we don’t connect, I will follow up with you again next week.

Email MessageSubject Line – RE: My Voicemail Message Earlier Today

Hi David,

As per my voicemail message, I have viewed your LinkedIn profile with interest and do have one quick question for you regarding your team of outbound salespeople. I know you have a very busy schedule so below are options for booking our 15-minute conversation at a time that’s most convenient for you.  If we are unable to connect at this time, I will follow up next week.

Many thanks and warm regards,

What are your thoughts? Are you already using a scheduling app? Share your experience?

#InspireConversation

 

Where’s The Phone Lady?

August 8 – Moving Beyond The Pitch: Building Successful Relationships, Digital Nova Scotia, Halifax, NS

August 14 – Phone Skills for Job Search and On The Job, Older Wiser Labourforce  (OWL), Halifax, NS

September 4 – Essential Communication Skills to Reach and Meet More Clients, TD Canada Trust, Toronto, ON

September 8 – Communication Skills that Build Strong Relationships, Highland Hearing, Pictou, NS

September 11 – Phone Skills for Entrepreneurs, CBDC Hants-Kings, Kentville, NS

September 24 – Building the Future: How Mentorship Supports Prosperity in Atlantic Canada, Futurpreneur Atlantic, Charlottetown, PE

September 28 – Talking to Your Customers, CEED, Halifax, NS

7 COMMENTS

  1. Oleg says:

    Hi Mary Jane, thank you for another great piece!

    Quick question – you once wrote that we are facing a dangerous trend of scheduling phone calls and start treating them as meetings. As calls are always an interruption, where is that line between scheduling one with an existing client vs just calling spontaneously?

    Oleg

    • The Phone Lady says:

      Great to hear from you, Oleg and thanks for reminding me about my previous post. I’ll have to look that up! Absolutely “yes” that spontaneous phone calls are still valid, especially if you have an ongoing relationship with someone. Last week I got a lot done by spending a few hours at my desk and taking the time to both answer calls and make them. The “line” encompasses two things: 1) Fewer and fewer people will answer the first call from a total stranger. This not only relates to the number of calls we receive from strangers that do waste our time, but also to the number of phone scams that are aimed at both businesses and consumers. 2) Showing respect for people’s time is key to building relationship so if you know that your conversation requires more than a few minutes of someone’s time, let’s say more than 15 minutes, scheduling that time clearly illustrates this respect. Overall, I do believe that it is through a combination of well-crafted voicemail and well-written email that we can increase our conversations and grow our businesses.

  2. Mick says:

    I LOVE CALENDLY. I heard of Calendly through one of your blog posts.

    I’ve paid for the customizable version, at about $100/yr and created several “styles” of meetings with clients. It sends them reminders, confirmations….. Worth every penny. I spent a lot of time customizing it, but for me, it is well worth it. I’m training my clients to use it. It is great. I agree with your whole article.

  3. Linda Daley says:

    I’ve attached a domain to my booking page at acuityscheduling.com – so I can verbally send people to it by saying “Go to booklinda.com …” Getting a scheduling app (finally) was a good decision.

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