Less and less is done on the phone, but it is a great way to make deeper connections. If not a telethon, sometimes you need to call a business to ask for support, a potential volunteer or even a grant-maker. These tips will help you warm up your “cold calls”.

  • Dress up when calling and try standing up. Take a confident posture.
  • Try not to be too scripted – be personal, conversational, genuine.
  • Practice makes perfect. If you don’t get the answer you want, think through what you could have done differently. Build your confidence and try different approaches.
  • If you are calling a business about donating – you can generally talk to sales and they will almost always put you through, but it is better to get the name of the decision maker from the receptionist.
  • You do not want to bother people but you don’t have to ask do you have time to talk now. If they don’t have time, they will tell you.
  • Focus on your voice. There is a lot of non-verbal communication that is missed on the phone, but you can still express a lot beyond just the words you are saying with your vocal tones.
  • Ask open ended questions. Use elephant ears – do more listening than talking.

In the end, try to enjoy the conversation. You are talking about a cause you care about and should be excited to share more. People will be inspired.