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Isolated by COVID-19? Pick Up the Telephone

By Scott Greggory

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COVID-19 has forced us to keep our distance from customers.

It’s driven us out of our workplaces and back into our homes.

It’s led to the cancellation of on-site meetings, client lunches and sales appointments.

And maybe it’s left you feeling a bit disconnected.

But there is a solution: pick up the phone.

You might typically text or email clients, but if this week’s face-to-face get-together was postponed over fears of coronavirus, set up a telephone conversation.

Studies show that younger professionals think talking on the phone is inefficient; that it takes too much time. But most solid relationships are built on an investment of time.

Doing business by phone allows you to interact in real time and gives you continual insight that non-verbal channels often don’t. For instance, with telephone communication you can maintain an ongoing sense of the other person’s mood and their interest in the topic. You can also hear red flags: does the person you’re talking with sound distracted? Rushed? Frustrated? If so, you can react appropriately. You’re not likely to get that type of feedback through an email.

So, sometime soon, call that long-time customer to ask if you can help with the big project he’s working on.

Call to let her know you’ve got a couple of great ideas that could grow her business.

Call to update him about the new features on your website and how they’ll make ordering easier. Then, walk him through the changes while he’s on the phone with you.

Call all your clients to assure them that even though you’re working from outside the office for the next few weeks, you’re still available to serve them.

Or just call to personally thank them for their business. After all, they might be feeling disconnected, too.

Then, re-schedule that lunch once it’s safe to shake hands again.