As a nonprofit consultant, you need to pick up the phone!
At the risk of sounding like an old curmudgeon, “back in the day” we ran to the phone, not away from it. The feeling of “stranger danger” in our culture was much reduced. Without voicemail and caller ID, you actually had to answer to see who was calling. It all sounds so quaint, today. (right up there with affixing your name on your mailbox!)
Yet what serves us so well in our personal lives, can work against us in our business life. I saw this recently when I scheduled a phone call with a client. I called exactly at our appointed time and got a voicemail. Okay, things happen, I thought, I’ll call again in about 10 minutes. I left a message saying as much.
Nope, I received a call right back. My client told me “I never answer my phone unless I know who it is.” I guess by that time I didn’t make it into her contact list so so that my name, not my number showed up on her phone. Regardless, it is work hours. It was a scheduled call. Besides, what if I were a major donor or significant client? Even if you call right back, she or he could be onto the next on the list, and never give you a second thought.
The telephone is one of the blessings of our age. For more than 100 years we’ve can “reach out and touch someone” (so said the old AT&T commercial.) It’s an amazing business tool. Learn don’t fear it. Embrace it.