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  • Tracy Hooper

Pick up the Phone

One of my favorite parts of the Wall Street Journal is the cartoon, Pepper and Salt. It provides a bit of levity when the Journal, like many other news sources, is filled with bad news.

Today’s Pepper and Salt made me laugh right out loud. It says, “I’m sorry the email and text didn’t work. Now we have to talk.”

It’s easy and seems safer to hide behind a text or an email. The phone can feel scary. My friend, Patty, calls it “Phone Freeze.” She told me that at her wealth management firm, interns and others who are young in their careers, seem terrified to make a phone call. They say, “I’m not used to talking on the phone.” Patty says, “Really? The client called us about their account. We need to call them back…especially because we’re in this volatile market.”

But it’s not only young people who hesitate. Sometimes, I’ll think, “Should I call that person or send an email?” Last week, I had a quick question for a client, picked up the phone and called him.

“Bill, this is Tracy Hooper.”

“Hi Tracy. Good to hear your voice.”

“Thanks, Bill. Same here. Do you have 2-minutes for a question about our meeting next week?”

That was it. He answered my question, we exchanged a few pleasantries and said goodbye in 2-minutes. Bill ended with, “Thanks for calling.”

Thanks for calling!

Tell your team, “No Phone Freeze.” Practice picking up the phone and making the call. It will not only grow their confidence to trust that they can communicate in real time, it will also give their clients and others more confidence in them, as someone who is a trusted, reliable resource of information and support.

P.S. If you get someone's voicemail, have a 15-20 second message prepared, and ready to read.

Thanks for reading.

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