Dog with a phone to represent switching off from work

Yesterday, we started talking about how to make it easy for you to pick up the phone to stay in contact with your network. In this 2nd part of the blog post, we look at ways 3, 4 and 5 to make it easier for you to pick up the phone.

3. Have some standard script items

Knowing what you are going to say, before you actually pick up the phone, makes it easier to do it. For example, get into the habit of asking:

Is now a good time to talk?

And set a loose agenda for the call:

We’ve not spoken for a while, so I wanted to take the opportunity to catch up, and find out what’s happening in your business.

4. Set the expectation that you will call

This is possibly the most powerful way to help you pick up the phone. All this is, is warning the person you will call, that you are going to call. This builds your commitment to make the call, and also helps the other person expect your call. In fact, if you do this well, they may even suggest a good time for you to call them. This expectation can be set in many ways. For example, you could send them an email in advance with an interesting article, and mention that you are planning to call them this week to catch up. Or, at the start of the relationship you could set the expectation that you would like to be able to call from time to time to see how they are doing.

5. Don’t take it personally that your call is not answered

Very often, your call will not be answered or sometimes not returned. Don’t take this personally. The other person may be flat out at work, and not have the time to return your call. Or, they may not even have got the message that you called. Sometimes, their agenda doesn’t match your agenda – and that’s happened to me a lot when I have been following up on proposals which I have submitted! A final thought for you. I know one firm which asks each of its partners and senior managers/associates to make one keeping in touch phone call a day. One of the best ways of getting over your fear/dread of ‘just picking up the phone’ is to do it regularly… What are your personal tips for picking up the phone to stay in touch?

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