I don’t talk much about the use of the telephone. I guess I’ve been scarred by too many phonathons.

But the phone is an incredibly important tool in the R.E.A.L. process of asking for money. Especially in getting a solicitation visit.

In his terrific book Asking: A 59-Minute Guide, Jerry Panas claims that getting the visit is 85% of the way to getting gift! Asking isn’t nearly as hard as getting someone to clear some space in their busy schedule. Once they do, you’re in a much better place to ask them for money.

  • You’re not interupting them, they’re expecting you.
  • You’ve already done the Researching and Engaging so your visit can be as succinct as 30-minutes. (If you were doing this cold, you might need more time.)
  • And, they will have had time to think about how important your organization is to them prior to your visit.

So how do you make your use of the phone as effective as possible? First, smile. For decades, study after study shows that people can “hear” your smile even when they can’t see you. Your voice becomes filled with a contagious energy when you smile. So do it!

Stand up and walk around. There’s precious little excitement in sitting on your derriere. A wireless phone or headset can be great assetts, but even a long coil cord will help you. As you stand up and walk around, you give the person even more energy and the quality of your calls improve dramatically.

Finally, I’ve said this before but it bears repeating, use a script. Help yourself remember the point of your call. You want to set up an appointment. Don’t use the call to get the gift! 9 times out of 10 gifts from phone calls will be less than gifts from face-to-face visits. Even if you simply scribble bullet points on the back of an envelope before the call, help yourself make sure you cover what you meant to and no more.

Try these today. Using these 3 simple tips will help in all uses of the telephone. (Yes, even using it for a phonathon.)

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