It’s true I have a call outline for every project I work on. But you can’t follow a script when you’re talking to real people.
What happens if the contact asks a question that isn’t rehearsed? And if I wrote something that sounds natural coming out of my mouth that doesn’t mean that ten other people could say it fluidly. That’s why I like a call outline that gives me the flexibility to make it my own.
But my job is more than that. I have to be able to pick out the most important things while weeding out the extra bits. I have to be able to jump from one line of questioning to another because that’s just how the conversation makes sense. And I have to make it sound like I’m not checking off boxes as I ask each question.
Not only do I have to connect with the contact, but with the person they are. Rapport is a big part of what I do every day. Sometimes you connect through humour other times it might be empathizing with a struggle the planner is having, which in turn could give you an opportunity to help them.
You have to be good at dealing with all types of personalities and knowing the differences between them. For example if you’re speaking with someone who is very laid back and has a lot of time to go into detail, you have to be ready to take the time. On the other hand if you’re speaking to someone who is reluctant, you have to be accepting of that and help them to elaborate in a way that isn’t offensive.
Something I like to do is research each project I’m working on to have a better understanding of what I’m promoting. This makes it easier for me to speak comfortably on the phone. But at the same time I have to be willing to admit my shortcomings and know when to say, “I just don’t know, but let me find out and get back to you with that answer.”
The important thing to remember is; you’re not just talking on the phone. You’re building relationships.