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Get Off the Phone!

Why Staff Should Call Clients, Prospects and Referrals

Are you still making calls to fill your calendar? I hope not! If you are, it’s time to delegate the scheduling to your staff. Give up the calls — and I mean all of them! — to existing clients, prospects and referrals.

Yes, referrals. Does that make you nervous? Many advisors have a hard time delegating the calls because the referrals were given to them, and they doubt anyone else can get the same results. They think advisors are an indispensable part of the scheduling process when actually, their job is to sell products and services, not fill in time slots on the calendar. From personal experience I can tell you that employees are more than capable of making all your calls.

Many years ago, when I worked for an advisor like you, I was thrown into making calls on my very first day. My advisor handed me a stack of files, told me to get on the phone, then walked out the door. No direction, training or explanation of why he wanted to see these clients. So I picked up the phone and said, “I’d like to schedule a time for the two of you to review.” Most people replied, “Why does he want to see me?” and I replied honestly, “I have no idea.” Ironically, most clients scheduled an appointment.

Why did my boss put me on the phone? Because he knew his priority was to be in front of people. The two of us began to make calls every day, and eventually my boss’s calendar was so full he didn’t have time to call the referrals. I asked him why I wasn’t calling the referrals. He explained that they were his bread and butter, and he couldn’t afford to lose the new opportunities. But the referrals began to pile up, and they weren’t doing any good just sitting there. One day I decided to try my luck at calling the referrals. Little did I know they would be tougher than any existing client! But I plowed through the pile and turned into a scheduling machine.

Think about it. Would you rather be in front of people or behind the scenes, trying to reach them by phone? I assume you want to be in front of people, so I urge you to trust my advice. Let go of all the calls and by doing so, your calendar will fill up, week after week, and you’ll strike a balance between new and existing clients. When employees make your calls, they:

  • are in the office when people return the calls

  • sell the appointment, not a product or service

  • are viewed as an integral part of your team

  • get past gatekeepers creatively

  • overcome objections easily without a sales pitch

  • get results

I’ve trained hundreds of schedulers over the past 20 years, and I know the calls can be delegated. Marketing coordinators — my term for schedulers — are easy to work with. My job is to train them to really listen to what’s being said. They learn to make people feel respected and heard, and to focus only on the appointment. When marketing coordinators use the right phone language, they feel confident and begin to enjoy the calls. It doesn’t matter if your client base includes doctors, attorneys, sales professionals, farmers or accountants. Marketing coordinators can get results.

In all the years I called referrals, there was only person who challenged me and said, “If your boss wants to see me, why doesn’t he call me?” I came up with a bulls-eye response. I said, “In order for my boss to spend quality time with people, I schedule all his appointments, and he focuses all his attention on you.” It worked like a charm, and I got the appointment.

Yes, in the beginning I may have lost a referral or two, but in the long run, my calls paid big dividends. Are you ready to make a move?

(1) Let go! Start slowly if you’re nervous about delegating referrals. Say you average 15 referrals per month. Give your marketing coordinator five of them, and see how things go. As appointments grow, you can gradually delegate more referrals.

(2) Overcome a referral “no” If your marketing coordinator doesn’t get the appointment, feel free to follow up yourself. Call and say, “You just spoke to my marketing coordinator who explained to me why you didn’t want to see me. However (referrer’s name) said some great things about you and felt it would be beneficial for us to meet.” Double-teaming pays off.

(3) Remember to ask for referrals Veteran producers sometimes stop asking for referrals because they don’t have time to make the calls. Get back into the habit so your marketing coordinator has something to work with.

When you hand over the scheduling, especially the referrals, your revenue will soar! To learn more about my strategies for working your client base and delegating all calls, order my book, The Appointment Scheduler, or register for our group series, The Revenue Resource. Contact us at 952-829-5300 or Or visit our website at

Want more? Order The Appointment Scheduler

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