Let’s keep this short today… here are my top 10 tips for contacting a client via phone (this should be every time – not just the first time you contact them by phone – and is NOT related to the COLD CALL post from a previous post):
1. Plan your call: Plan your call in advance and prepare a clear objective and script. Know EXACTLY why you are calling them – and keep the call to just that core message. If you are calling about a new station promo – just talk about that, not their last campaign, or your holidays – it’s all about them and you want to have a plan at hand to keep your call on track. Also – know who you are calling… don’t just assume you are getting the business owner – find out who you should be calling and ask for them by name.
2. Introduce yourself: Start the call by introducing yourself and your business. So simple – yet I have had many conversations with people who fail to introduce themselves – say who you are, confirm you are talking to the right person, and use their name at least 3 times in your call.
3. Get permission to proceed: Ask the client if they have a few minutes to speak and if they are available to talk. Don’t just plow on through – no – you need to ask if they are free for a reason – most will be busy – ask before you start your pitch.
4. Listen actively: Listen carefully to the client’s needs, questions, and concerns. Write down their questions, and address them AFTER they have finished talking…
5. Speak clearly and confidently: Speak clearly and confidently to establish credibility and convey your message effectively. You know your station, your product and what you are talking about – right? – that’s why you had a plan.
6. Keep the conversation on track: Keep the conversation focused on the objective of the call and avoid getting side tracked. Remember to stick to the plan.
7. Provide value: Offer value to the client by providing useful information, insights, or resources that will benefit them. Do this after the call – not during – you want to be able to say to them that you will send them more detail.
8. Ask questions: Ask the client questions to understand their needs and tailor your message accordingly. This can be as simple as confirming a booking “…so you want to run a new ad every Friday from midday to Saturday midday… is that correct?” to as complex as asking about an entire new campaign, with website take-over and social media posts – what you want is to make sure they understand what it is you are talking about – if in doubt…
9. Confirm next steps: Confirm next steps, such as scheduling a follow-up call or sending additional information. This is vitally important and could be called “ASK THEM ABOUT THE SALE” confirm you will send a contract through, or will be out to see them at a set time to sign the contract.
10. Follow up: Follow up with a thank you email or call to show your appreciation and maintain the relationship. This is a step that not many people do – I try to do it all the time by sending a quick email to them once I am back at my desk after meeting with them – or after a phone call – just confirming any changes or details – this is mainly so there is a paper trail – and any misunderstandings are caught early.
Like most things – it’s easy to sour a relationship with a client if you do something wrong – by following these tips, you can increase your chances of having a productive and successful phone call, and a long and fruitfull relationship for a long time to come..