Even though phone calls are a time-tested way to build your business, few people consistently leverage this tool. Part of the reason we don’t is because we feel uncomfortable asking our friends, family, and clients for business. But what if I told you there’s a way to pound the phones without compromising your values?

Today’s consumer has no tolerance for a sales call. In fact, today’s consumer often has little tolerance for any kind of unsolicited phone call. Here are three Dos and one Don’t for making them glad they picked up.

DO: Tell them right off the bat why you’re calling.

Don’t waste their time with small talk if you’re calling for a specific reason. They’ll appreciate you getting right to the point.

“Hi, Mark, it’s Katie Clancy. Hey, I have a business question for you…”

DO: Put your ask at the beginning of the call.

Otherwise, you could open with a “Hey, how’s the fam?” get into a long convo about their ailing mother, and then have to pull the conversation around to business, which is extremely uncomfortable and off-putting. 

“I have a client with a great dane like your Marmaduke, and they are looking for a dog walker who can handle that much dog. I know you were really happy with yours. Would you mind sharing their contact info? Thanks so much! So anyway, how IS Marmaduke? And the family?”

DO: Finish the call with gratitude and, ideally, a way to demonstrate it.

Show your gratitude by doing a small favor in return. If nothing else, make it known that you appreciate their time. 

“Oh, thank you so much. That is really helpful, and they will be so pleased. If you want their number to connect with another great dane owner, I am happy to connect you guys…Yes? Great! I’ll send a text intro when we get off the phone.”

DON’T: Ruin the call with “Oh, by the way…”

For the love of all things holy, resist the temptation to insert some cheesy pitch at the end of the call. You’ve just spent 20 minutes developing a warm, trusting relationship. Leave it at that, let the good juju of the call do its magic over time, and just move on to the next call. Trust that if you build the relationships, the business will come.