Monday, April 04, 2011


For the A to Z Challenge, I’m posting promo and other tips for writers. Today it’s calls.

If you’re a writer or author, at some point, you’ll start making phone calls.

You’ll use calls to set up appearances and media interviews. You’ll talk to editors, publishers, and reporters. You’ll call bookstores and libraries.

For some people, calls are no big deal. For others, the phone weights a thousand pounds! I used to work at UPS and my job was to call people and say “Your package is lost, damaged, destroyed - we don’t know where it is!” Fun, huh? Let me say it took a lot of courage to pick up a phone again.

Here’s some tips that might help:

Make a list of names and numbers to call

Sketch out what you’re going to say. Practice. Don’t read it over the phone or it’ll sound scripted.

Set aside a block of time to do nothing but make phone calls.

Start with an easy one to get into the groove.

Don’t stop until you hit a yes.

Don’t end with a no.

Remember to smile when talking - it does come through!

Now, who’s ready to start dialing?



I think I'll wait until I've compiled the poems for my next book.
Some good tips so good of you to pass them on.

Have a good day.

Dan said...

I hate making phone calls, even casual, social calls. This is going to be a tough hurdle for me if I get to that point. Good post!


Unknown said...

I rarely use the phone. And when I do, it's always brief. I like your tips though.

~Sia McKye~ said...

These are some good tips Diane.

I think practicing what you're going to say--know your points, be able to deliver them smoothly and conversationally--is a good one.

I also found it good to block time for just phone calls. I did this when doing promotion and marketing.

First phone call is the hardest and remembering that no doesn't kill you and if you handle right, no can still be a yes for the future. I always try to cultivate each for a future contact. Always keep notes because there are so many *nuggets* of info you can use to develop for future calls.

Smile? yep, you can hear it and surprisingly, I still employ it when I write answers to or requests for things. It works even then because it sets you mind to the right groove.

Karen Walker said...

For 30+ years, most of my professional life consisted of making cold calls to find new clients for my public relations business. It is a hard thing to do. These tips are fantastic.

Talli Roland said...

Thanks for the tips! Although I know I can do it, making phone calls is not what I enjoy - at all. So this is really helpful!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Dan, I bet you can do it.

Sia, I keep notes, too!

Thanks, Karen.

Talli, I have to call some colleges this afternoon and I'm not looking forward to it. Still not fun.

Laura S. said...

Not there yet. Tucking this away for future reference!

Budd said...

scripting your calls makes them flow so much better. You can wing it and just look up when you need to. also script so common responses.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Oh, I hate talking on the phone! But I think smiling when you're talking is a great tip--you really can always tell when someone on the other end is smiling.

Cherie Reich said...

Great tips. I tend to think of what I want to say before I call someone, since I'm a tad phobic of phones.

Jamie Gibbs said...

I'm not a good person on the phone. In person, fine, and by email I'm fine too. I'm pretty sucky on the phone tho :P

Ella said...

Great advice; You should write a Tip book! I'm learning a lot; Thank you so much~ @>----

Gail M Baugniet - Author said...

This pretty much describes the list from when I telemarketed for Fingerhut (in another of my lifetimes; I actually made a good living at it!)

I'm not sure I can do it to market myself, though. Okay, that was negative ... I think I can, I think I can.

Grammy said...

Hi, Diane, Thanks for the offer of bookmarks for my library, and if I still worked in one, I would be happy to have a bunch of them. I retired from teaching and librarying almost 17 years ago. Wow! It sounds like a long time when I say it that way. Ha. Thanks for visiting me. Com back and see me again if you can. Ruby

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Very good advice. I hate to talk on the phone, but sometimes it's necessary. I make as few calls as possible. I know. That's bad. I'm trying to get better.

Jai Joshi said...

I've made a lot of calls in my time. There were good days and there were bad days. I learned that when I began a day and there was a streak of nos it was better to stop and start again the next days. Too many nos could be dispiriting.


L. Diane Wolfe said...

Looks like I am in good company with this phone thing.

Tamara Narayan said...

I dread calling people and put it off as long as possible. Thanks for the tips.