A lawyer I am helping find a firm asked me a question I know is a common one.

“We hear all the time that we need to reach out to our clients. Pick up the phone, email, etc. I often find that I am hesitant in doing so when it’s not related to an ongoing piece of work.

The question is…

‘What do I say?’ I feel silly calling to just say hello.” What are some talking points I can use during these ‘casual’ catch-up conversations?

Here are some ideas: Unless a reason exists for the contact either:

  1. By circumstance ~ something reminded you of the client, their child, something they care about.
  2. By you ~ you track their press, their company/industry data or something they care about.

Be real and tell the truth.

Hi, we haven’t talked in a while, so I thought I’d call and see what’s new/how you’re doing/how things are going.

And then ask:

What’s new? How are you doing? How’s it going?

The subtle difference is that you are asking for direct feedback, as opposed to just saying “hello” or “just calling to catch up with you,” which might not start a conversation.

The most important thing to remember is that you’re developing your relationship, not your sales pitch. That should take some pressure off. And if you’re not already, you should be putting systems in place to create reasons for you to follow up like those mentioned above. Then it’s a non-issue.

The key is to genuinely care. That way, whether you have a reason or not, you’re authentic. So put a smile on your face and pick up the phone. The more you do it, the easier it gets.