Kim Kirmmse Toth - Small Business Coach

Pick Up the Damn Phone to Get More Clients!

I realize that’s a pretty bold title but I am serious about this.

Attempting to build a business only doing things on-line will be like taking that “Slow boat to China”

I know it feels hard. You know it feels hard, but do it anyway.

Most people don’t pick up the phone, which is why it is so powerful. It’s like most people don’t send mail through the post office, which is also more powerful than an email.

The reality is, when you DO get the guts to call someone, you will most likely get a voice mail. So, do you hang up? Do you leave a long message about what you are calling them about?

Female Entrepreneur On The Phone

Here is something I have learned.

Say your name and your business name and say it s l o w l y. I get so many messages where people talk so fast I have no idea who they are or what their business is and I don’t like to have listen to messages over and over to understand. When this happens I usually hit 7 for delete.

Say in a sentence or two what you are calling about. Tease them about something you have that you think might be a perfect fit for them. Your message should be no longer than 2 minutes. One minute is best.

Next you want to give them a ‘call to action’. You want them to call you back.

Then say your name and business s l o w l y and do the same with your phone number. I would do this twice, especially the phone number. No one likes to go back and have to listen to a message again to get the phone number. And as you know many people leave their phone number at the beginning of the message which means you always have to go back and listen again.

Now, I know you are probably thinking, Kim, this is so simple, everyone does this. And I am here to tell you, no they don’t.

Practice, practice, practice this! You want to come across professional, strong and confident.

The chances of someone getting back to you after one call is pretty small so be prepared to have 2 or 3 follow up calls, each different.

You can leave another message after 3 – 5 business days. This helps the likeliness of them calling you back much higher.

Don’t wing these calls! You need to have a series of voice messages all written out and practiced. You will feel much better about making the calls and will come across on the phone with much greater confidence. My mother always used to say ‘phone voices are very revealing’ and she was right.

This is just one small piece of how to increase your clients and fill your groups by picking up the phone but I hope it’s enough to get you started. You WILL grow your business if you do this properly!!

Action Step:

  1. Make a list of names and phone numbers of people you want to call.
  2. Write out a series of 2 or 3 (or more if you wish and it feels appropriate) scripts on what you will say when you call someone and get a voice mail. You also will want to do this when they answer your call or call you back later. Be clear on why you are calling them and write it out.
  3. Keep track of each call. Who you called, the date you called, whether you left a voice mail or talked with them and a short paragraph of the results of your conversation.


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  1. joel helfer
    Mar 03, 2015

    Right on Kim! Love your article.
    I’m my business career, I have found two killer ways of making sales.
    Putting my hat and coat on to go see a client( prospect) in person or speak with them on the phone.

    Everything I do and all the tech stuff I use and develop is geared to get people – the right ones to pick up the phone and LOOK FORWARD or BE EXCITED to talk to me.

    Love to chat with yo some time.
    Schedule a call with me at your convenience.

    • Kim Kirmmse Toth
      Mar 05, 2015

      Thanks Joel!!

      I know for me, starting out on the phone to see if there is a connection is easier. THEN, getting dressed up to meet somewhere! We ladies have a lot more to do to get ready than you guys! Plus it can be time consuming so I want to be sure its a good use of my time.

      Tell me more about your business? Ok?


  2. Mike Klubok
    Mar 04, 2015

    I like the idea of this. The concern is that by doing this could you be considered a telemarketer and subject to telemarketing laws?

    • Kim Kirmmse Toth
      Mar 05, 2015

      I think it all has to do with how you/we present ourselves. Not salesy. Interested in them, not selling.

      I generally call past clients, people I have talked to with a Discovery Session, so I would not be seen as a telemarketer.

      The only way I would do ‘cold calling’ is it was an email introduction or something so we set it up together. I don’t do straight calling ‘cold calls’ That were not work with my population: Women After 50. But I do know in many businesses that can work.

      Just not in mine, or in yours it sounds like.

      Thanks for your comment Mike


  3. Stephanie Darling
    Mar 04, 2015

    Good article, good headline. I would agree on…and a reporter once told me this…to say your phone number slowly, right after giving your name. If the message gets garbled or the listener is in a hurry, he/she would likely get a name and number, if nothing else.

  4. Kim Kirmmse Toth
    Mar 05, 2015

    Your reporter friend is right. I get so tired of having to RE listen to messages and generally I don’t.

    And give your name and phone……slowly, at the end.

    You know, its one of those things that is really common sense but people don’t do it enough.

    Their loss!

    Thanks for your comment Stephanie,

  5. Suzanne Levy
    Mar 05, 2015

    Super helpful article, Kim, and really points to the fact that it’s about taking action! I’ve also started tracking calls/phone numbers/outcomes so that I can keep track of who I need to follow up with. I agree that expecting to follow up at least once or more is almost a given.

  6. Kim Kirmmse Toth
    Mar 10, 2015

    Thanks Suzanne! I does get easier as long as we practice, practice, practice.

    And I think getting phone numbers is very important. I know not everyone agrees with me but that is AOK.

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