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Old 07-17-2012
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Question Do You Schedule Phone Calls with Your Clients?
Hello,

I do not normally speak with my clients after the contract is signed but after a few started to 'fall off' into no man's land despite encouraging emails, I decided to implement a phone conference plan.

So far the plan has worked out well and I am sorry I didn't do it much sooner.

I found that if clients do not speak to me they can lose interest in me between projects.

I have found that if clients do not speak to me, they don't send as much work through email. In fact, when I do speak with them, I always get off the phone with MORE work!

I'd like to know if you schedule regular phone calls with your clients. If you do, have you found this to be helpful in building your relationship? If you don't, tell me what is stopping you from doing so.

Janine
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Old 07-17-2012
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Default Re: Do You Schedule Phone Calls with Your Clients?
I too speak to clients. I regularly schedule strategy sessions, sometimes weekly often monthly to stay on the same page with my clients. You know the saying, out of site out of mind.

I am glad that this is garner more projects Janine, it is great to be proactive.
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Old 07-17-2012
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Default Re: Do You Schedule Phone Calls with Your Clients?
I set up weekly calls with my clients unless they don't want them (one client has an aversion to the phone but keeps me plenty busy via email anyway).

I find the weekly calls help both me and my clients stay on the same page! We go over emailed requests, touch base with what I am currently working on and things that might be coming up, agree priorities, brainstorm ideas, and I also give my retainer clients a tally of their remaining hours for the month.

I think it's good to touch base regularly by phone, or meet in person once in a while when you can. Not necessary but I do believe it helps to establish a better working relationship.

Glad it's working out well for you, Janine!
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Old 07-17-2012
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Default Re: Do You Schedule Phone Calls with Your Clients?
I speak with at least one of my clients quite often - he is always calling me with small jobs which is fine with me. I have no problem with a client calling me. There is no scheduling.
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Old 07-17-2012
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Default Re: Do You Schedule Phone Calls with Your Clients?
I find it so much better to speak to my clients over the phone. It gives a personal touch to the work I am doing for them. They get to hear how passionate I am in helping them be successful with their business. My care and integrity comes across very clear to them. And I also get to understand them better so I adjust the project to their needs. Call me old fashion...but I always prefer phone call, but not always necessary.
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Old 07-18-2012
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Default Re: Do You Schedule Phone Calls with Your Clients?
When I worked in the corporate world, I always had weekly or bi-weekly touch-base calls with my managers and I continue this in my business. It may be for just a few minutes but I think it is important to do.
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Old 07-18-2012
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Default Re: Do You Schedule Phone Calls with Your Clients?
Great responses everyone! Thank you.

I definitely see how the phone calls make a difference in establishing and maintaining trust with a client.

What always worried me before I implemented a formal calling schedule was how much time it would eat into my day.

And while I say, the call will be limited to 20 minutes, I would say on average the calls last 30 minutes, which is fine.

My next question...do you charge for phone time?

Janine
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Old 07-18-2012
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Default Re: Do You Schedule Phone Calls with Your Clients?
I do charge for my time on the phone calls but I usually have all of my talking points ready ahead of the call, to help save time. I don't charge for the prep time since it's my decision to do it and not their request. Besides, it shows that you are prepared and organized.

If my retainer clients are running low on hours for the month, I ask if they want to skip the remaining weekly calls so I can spend that time on project work instead. My clients seem to appreciate that I am being mindful of their time and budget, and they are happy to continue with our weekly calls the following month, when they have more time available.
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Old 07-18-2012
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Default Re: Do You Schedule Phone Calls with Your Clients?
Linda,

You never cease to amaze me with your professionalism.

I like your style! And how you are truly looking after your clients' interests.

Great response! Thank you!

Janine
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Old 07-18-2012
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Default Re: Do You Schedule Phone Calls with Your Clients?
Janine, thank you so much for your feedback and kind words. It means a great deal to me especially coming from you, since I hold you in very high regard.

I have learned so much about being a VA and businesswoman from reading your advice on this forum. So thank you!!

Oh and just so you know, you made my day!
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