A personal connection goes a very long way when you’re trying to build a deeper relationship. Maximizing the effectiveness of a call can be achieved by keeping in mind how a call can be more relationship centric and how it can satisfy the need to connect regarding business and still deepen relational trust. This document will cover a few best practices that will help increase the effectiveness of your calls and give perspective on how trust is built over the phone.
The Call’s Purpose
The purpose of a call can vary greatly and dictates the dialogue you create. Too often, the call’s topic is exclusively business and people are discouraged from engaging in casual conversation. By adding an element of human interaction and making the phone call about getting to know the person, you’re better able to build the foundation of a great relationship.
All people have the desire to feel important, valued, and heard and the most effective way to create these feelings is to simply listen to the other person. When you ask a question, you provide an opportunity for the other person to become the center of the conversation and by giving them your genuine attention and interest you’re giving them the feeling of importance and will quickly develop an emotional connection.
Be careful with your first questions though, especially if you don’t know the person very well. Asking questions about their family right away is similar to a stranger walking up and asking those questions. It inevitably will make their walls go up. The key is to ask questions that are enjoyable and easy to answer. This is where preparation will make a big difference. Take time to recall your last interactions if applicable. Review history, notes, or other pertinent information. Also scan and review any relevant emails to prepare yourself.
- Think about the purpose for the call
- Prioritize the person you are calling
- Consider the duration: Intend to keep it short, but allow them to extend the call
- Refrain from discussing business (if you can) when making a relational call
- Be yourself
- Be ready to ask questions
- Prepare a voicemail message beforehand and leave a brief message if your contact is out
- Include something like, “I was thinking about you…” or “You were on my mind today.” or “I was recalling our last conversation and…”