I was talking with a new client last week, and she explained to me that she wasn’t one of those people who found it easy just to pick up the phone and talk to people – particularly people she had not spoken to in a while. I know that one of the best ways to win more business from your current client portfolio is to stay in touch with them. That’s not easy when the assignment has finished or an obvious reason to call isn’t there. But, your partners keep telling you to spend time just picking up the phone and talking to your clients without a pre-agreed agenda. So, how can you get over the fear factor and do it regularly? Now, keeping in touch is more than being able to pick up the phone (see 27 new (and not so new) ways to keep in touch with your network and (7 tools to help you keep in touch with your network) – but how do you get comfortable with picking up the phone and speaking to them without a prescribed agenda? Here are my thoughts: 1. Identify what you are worried about More often than not, if you don’t like picking up the phone and have an unplanned call, it’s because you are worried about something. So, what is that something? Will I look stupid? Will they think I am trying to sell something? Will I know what to say? Will the conversation dry up? If you identify your often irrational fears, then it’s easier to put in place a strategy to remove the barrier and pick up the phone. 2. Follow them on social media If you follow them on social media, it often gives you a real excuse to pick up the phone. Many people on twitter will tweet personal stuff, which allows you to easily and readily engage. For example, if a client of yours tweets about going on holiday to Cornwall in a couple of weeks. How about giving them a call to tell them about some great things to do in Cornwall, and ask if there is anything that needs to get done – which you can help with – before they go away. Don’t forget to read 3,4 and 5 in 5 ways to make it easier for you to pick up the phone and make that call – part 2

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