Congratulations – you’ve finally set aside the time to make some phone calls and you are ready. You’ve written out the points you want to cover – they are on an index card on your desk. You’ve organized a list of names and phone numbers – there are 10 you are going to call today. You are excited. You are focused.

You reach your first voicemail.

After about the fourth call you are feeling pretty good about you’re the energetic voicemail message you are leaving and every time you dial a number, you prepare to leave it again. But on the 9th call …

someone answers their phone and …

you are not prepared. You got lulled into the safe space of leaving messages and now you flounder a bit. For three terrifying seconds your mind goes blank and you can’t remember anything you wanted to say!

This is happening to all of us as we find ourselves reaching more voicemail then people on a daily basis. Off the top of my head (and as I write this I’m realizing I should keep track for a few days) I’d say that, at best, I reach 2 people for every 10 calls I make.

Be aware – you must always be ready to speak to someone in real time. Even as you leave message after message, keep in your mind’s eye a vision of someone picking up the phone. Have that vision front and centre while you dial each number. Don’t get caught off guard.

And this practice, of visualizing someone answering their phone is also an “attractor factor”. The more I visualize a real time conversation, the more these conversations actually happen.

But if and when you do find yourself startled out of a voicemail lull, awkward in the moment someone answers their phone, don’t worry about it. In fact, shake it off with a bit of a laugh and say something like: “Wow its great to talk to a real person. I’ve connected with a lot of voicemail this morning.” This opener will be well received because this is a common experience, and it will give you time to adjust, prepare yourself for a great conversation.

This coming week I’m doing three breakfast presentations as part of the RBC Royal Bank’s Women Information Series. I’d love to see you there! Click here for more details:

Building Your Business By Phone

Early next week I’ll be in Fredericton teaching at the University of New Brunswick, so my blog will be off schedule – but you will hear from me.Happy dialing everyone!

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