The next time you’re making calls to invite people to serve in ministry, be aware of what you’re conveying on the phone. These six simple steps will help you communicate clearly and enthusiastically.
1. Prepare—Before you call, pause to think about what you’re going to say. Many people are put off by the “beep” of answering machines and begin to stammer. By preparing your thoughts beforehand, you’ll present a message with a much stronger chance of receiving a positive response.
2. Engage—You may think “I’m only leaving a message,” but that doesn’t mean it has to be dull. Use good inflection in your voice, with no monotone. Aim for a conversational delivery, as if you were speaking face-to-face. Your volunteer will “feel” your enthusiasm and pay more attention to your message.
3. Empower—Avoid disempowering statements such as “I’m just calling about….” or “I hate to bother you, but….” Instead say, “I’m excited to let you know about….” or “I’m so pleased to share some news with you….” Your words set the tone of the experience, so choose them thoughtfully.
4. Acknowledge—Feel guilty for leaving repeated messages for a volunteer? Address the fact that you know you’ve contacted a person several times; for example, “I appreciate you listening to another message from me, and I’m certain we’ll connect soon.” Such a statement makes it clear that you’re aware of your persistent attempts and look forward to making a person-to-person connection soon.
5. Affect—Be personable! Don’t feel so attached to your specific reason for calling that you fail to add a personal touch to the message. People love to connect and bond with others, so use these small windows of opportunity to touch volunteers’ lives.
6. Affirm—You can’t say thank you too many times. Thank team members for taking the time to listen to your message. Also thank them in advance for responding to your call. Everyone leads busy lives, so thanking volunteers in the course of a phone message lets them know you appreciate them and their time.
Equip anyone who makes phone calls to contact volunteers with these phone tips. Then your whole team will be more effective when using the phone for ministry connections!