Using Electronic Communication to Make Phone Calls More Productive

Phone communication is really not my favorite. Don’t get me wrong. I have no problem talking to people and getting things done via phone. But I really don’t enjoy getting interrupted in the middle of what I’m doing by the phone. Especially for work, I MUCH prefer it when people email me first to schedule a time to speak. Then I’m prepared for the call, and my head’s in the game.

And as I think about how we use the phone as direct sellers, I wonder if we should spend a little time thinking about the effectiveness, or lack thereof, of “interruption marketing.”

Many direct sellers are uncomfortable making phone calls. Why? Because we don’t like interrupting people. Why not? Because we don’t like to be interrupted ourselves. Yet the phone is such an essential part of our business. Making those calls daily can be a crucial part of the success of our business. So what do we do?

I believe that online tools can help. Here’s how:

  • If you’re planning to call someone, and are friends on Facebook, send them a quick chat message letting them know you’ll be giving them a call later in the day, and asking what time is good.
  • At the beginning of each week, make a list of the people you plan to call. Send them an email asking what the best time to connect is.
  • When completing a purchase with a customer, ask them what the best time is to call when you follow up with them. Write it on their customer care card so you remember the best time to call.
  • Send a text message to a person you plan to call, asking if they’re free, prior to calling.

We’ll never be able to reach everyone electronically before calling. But when we use the tools at our disposal to eliminate some of the interruptions, we feel better about calling, and may find that our calls are more productive. After all, the person has already agreed to take your call (which helps to eliminate the gatekeeper), and you may have more of their attention. Because you’ve made an appointment, you’re less likely to get an answering machine. As a result, you may make more sales, get more bookings, etc. And isn’t that the point?

Do you schedule calls before making them? What are your thoughts? Would love to read them in the comments.

7 Responses to Using Electronic Communication to Make Phone Calls More Productive
  1. Ingenious
    September 12, 2013 | 10:03 am

    This article is very helpful! Its a great reminder for all of us to make phone calls more productive. We are now living in world of advanced communication technology, so it’s also the high time to make use of it efficiently.
    Thanks for sharing your ideas through this post.
    Ingenious recently posted..How to Alleviate Anger in 4 Easy Steps

  2. Bernice Caruth
    March 30, 2011 | 9:07 pm

    Electronic communication is a challenge. Most of my customers don’t have computers and if they do, don’t respond to emails. The customers that are on Facebook post very little and don’t check it everyday. Much as I hate getting on the phone, I find that customers appreciate a personal phone call and usually end up with an order. It’s a mixed bag. You just have to find what a customer’s preference is.

  3. Pam Shaw
    March 30, 2011 | 8:47 am

    Thanks Jennifer. I’ve been looking for some ways to reduce the amount of “phone tag.” These are great ideas.

  4. Dawn Beardsley
    March 29, 2011 | 11:01 am

    Thanks for this post, I have a huge phone phobia and will come up with every excuse in the book to not make phone calls to my customers.
    This technique makes the call a “warm call”, takes the pressure off and helps me pick up the phone.

  5. Sharon Mayers
    March 29, 2011 | 9:44 am

    One of the things I really struggle with in my business is making phone calls. I love the idea of scheduling prior to the actual call! I think this will make it much easier in the future to pick up the dreaded phone! Thanks Jennifer!
    Sharon Mayers recently posted..Earn &amp Learn Direct Selling Fair-Ann Stone &amp Debbie Steininger

  6. Stacy Stehle
    March 29, 2011 | 9:30 am

    I think this is a great idea! In fact, I was thinking of this very subject this morning and I made my list of people I needed to contact! Thanks Jennifer!
    Stacy
    Stacy Stehle recently posted..Metaphysical Fair Take Away 2- Power of Intentions

  7. Kathy Rowland
    March 29, 2011 | 9:13 am

    So, so true! I’ve been texting first for a few of my calls and have had good success with that. This post is changing my thinking from a sometime thing to an intentional most of the time thing. I would much rather “get through” to the person, than have to leave a message! Thanks for another great tool. ~Kathy

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