I have to start this week’s blog with thank you’s. First to the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education (CAFCE). It was their invitation to present at their national conference that inspired my week in PEI. I received a lovely welcome and lots of assistance in organizing and executing my presentation. What a great experience! Also my gratitude to Rachel Clark McDearmid of Enterprises Canada – she is woman who gets things done and she brought together a great group of people for a fun morning workshop. Thanks also to Angela Hodgson of the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce. She facilitated a Lunch and Learn downtown that drew an interested group of business folks together to talk about “phone work”. And finally, to the PEI Business Women’s Association, especially Melody Beck, which hosted an elegant Lunch and Learn in Summerside. Enthusiastic business executives kept me on my toes with great questions about phone etiquette. I clarified a few things during my four-workshops-in-three-days tour. One – I’m really not very competent around new-to-me technology – sigh! Two – I really believe, in an unshakeable way, in the telephone as a powerful marketing tool for every business. Three – the phone can be compared to an instrument (a piano, a violin – whatever inspires you). You need to know the basics in order to “play” it and then, you need to practice, practice, practice. And finally, here’s THE philosophy, the one you need to firmly incorporate those cold calls, those “introduction calls”(whether you simply want to get the word out, or set up meetings, or sell) into your daily and/or weekly routine: It is important for me to let potential customers know I exist. They cannot make the best possible business decisions for themselves if they have not, at the very least, reviewed my information. I introduce myself to my potential customers in a very professional way, keeping in mind that my phone call is an interruption but that their job is to cultivate new ideas and service providers. – Makes sense doesn’t it? So … pick up the phone! Happy phonework everyone!