11 Steps to Organize Your Phone Calls, So You Can Stop Putting Them Off

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Do you hate making business phone calls? Because you never know how to get into them, how to stay on track when you’re on them, and how to get out of them?

Many business owners, especially those with ADHD, dread making calls to keep clients up to date, keep on top of their contractors, and keep in touch with peers and partners.

One reason you’re stuck may be your ADHD inability to shift gears and just get started, but another may be the simple dislike of talking to all those people. Yikes! It’s so easy to get off track, a few simple phone calls could take hours! And, will you really get accomplished what you want to get accomplished?

You will if you take the time to plan and organize your calls ahead of time.

Take these simple steps before you pick up the phone:

Step 1. Make a list of everyone you need to phone.

Step 2. Next to each person’s name, write the main reason you need to call them. Keep it simple, like “give project update” or “get price quote.”

Step 3. Are there other points you need to cover with certain people? Jot these reasons down under the main reason, but no more than two or three points per person per phone call.

Step 4. Now, group your calls by subject so you don’t have to bounce around and can cover all your calls about one topic at the same time. Do some of your calls involve new regulations or gathering certain information? Group these calls together and do them one after the other.

Step 5. Look for sequence or “this then that” order in the groups. Does it make sense to make some calls before others, because the information you get from the first calls will make an impact on the other calls? For example, should you call your general contractor first, to find out if he’s available, before you phone the client?

Step 6. Decide your tone for each group of calls.
A.)  Reassuring, in control: “We’re on top of it,”
B.)  Quick, I just need information: “When can you get back to me?”
C.)  Understanding, but gotta go: “I understand, keep working on it.”

Step 7. Decide on a time limit for each phone call, and a reward (for you!) if you can make the call within the time limit. Then let people know you’ve got limited time.

Be business-like, while being friendly: “I’ve only got a minute,” or “I don’t want to take too much of your time.”

The reward can be per call, or for the entire group of calls, and it can be as simple as a few M&Ms or a special coffee at lunch. Be creative and get your timer ready.

Step 8. Smile when you pick up the phone. You’ll enjoy it more! Make them feel like you’re soooo happy to have them on the phone, even though it’s going to be a short call.

Step 9: Try standing up for your calls. Your posture will show in your voice, and you’ll be less likely to get involved in lengthy side conversations.

Step 10. When you get the person on the phone, go down your list: “The reason I called (main reason),” and get their response. Then go on to the next reason. Check them off as you go.

Remember, you may really like them, but you’re busy—you said you only had a minute, so keep it quick. Don’t go back on your word.

Be really pleasant when you move on. Thank them for talking to you.

Step 11. Check the time when you hang up. Try to make your next call shorter (while still being really nice, of course!)

If you’re on a mission when you make your business phone calls, you’ll be amazed at how productive you can be! You can get into them, through them, and out of them without hating the process—and you’ll feel really good when you’re done, too.

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