by Hannah Jay
What these escorts so obviously failed to understand is that phone – and email and texts – are critical to their business. As the expression goes, you only have one chance to make a first impression and the phone is often it.
So if you were one of the charming and witty girls we spoke to (yes, there were a few), then kudos to you. If your face is now red, or you simply want to avoid the off-putting behavior we encountered, read on.
Guidelines to great telephone skills:
Everyone these days is running around with a phone in their hand or purse. But if you want to turn yours into a business asset, let’s start with the basics:
Does your business phone have good reception?
Whether you use a landline or a mobile phone you need to make sure that you have the best, most static free, drop free line you can get. There is nothing more off putting than calling an escort, reaching her and then having no idea what she is saying because the reception is so bad. That one, albeit easy to fix problem, can mean that all of your investment in advertising and marketing is wasted.
Do you know what you want AND need?
Before you commit to a particular phone, check around to see which carrier gives the best coverage in your city. Also, consider where you are going to be working. If you have an in-call, ask people nearby for carrier recommendations, and think seriously about getting a dedicated landline. These days landlines are cheap and can be forwarded to your mobile when you are out and about. The crisp, clear reception a landline offers will be a respite to the awful reception so many of your clients have to endure throughout their business day.
How user-friendly is your system?
You can’t always answer your phone. Your potential clients know that. In fact they may expect to leave a message but, for Heaven’s sake, make sure your message makes them want to hear back from you. At worst, messages are the robotic, “you have reached (then the whole number that your client has just finished dialing is repeated) who cannot take your call now, please leave a message after the tone.” Or even more infuriating is the bland announcement, “this voice mail is not configured” or “the voice mail of the person you are calling is full”. Time from you client’s life he will never get back. And so, most likely, he will swiftly move on, and you have just lost business.
What does your voice say about you?
You are creating an impression every time someone dials your number. Whether they talk to you, or hear your personal message, they are forming an opinion about you as a person and as a prospective escort pick. At worse, a droning, down-beat, or downright nasty attitude makes the potential client actively dislike you before they even meet you. Telephones pick up tone of voice as well as what you are actually saying. So don’t record your message when you are drunk, hung over, in a hurry, sleepy or annoyed. Learn how to record your messages so they can be changed easily. Take a couple of tries before settling on your message.
A good answering machine/voice mail message should always be gracious, a bit funny perhaps and provides the information the potential client is looking for. Start with identity “Hi, thanks for calling Bri,” works just fine; he already knows what number he’s dialed. “I can’t come to the phone right now,” is all the next line needs to be. Adding “…I’ve just dashed out for champagne” for a bit of high-end humour that also happily wrinkles out the cheapskates without having to endure them by phone. Follow with the simple, but friendly, request for a number you can call back, “I’d love to call you back so leave me your name and your number and a good time to call.” That is really all you need and there is a good argument that you should leave it there. However, you might want to give a bit more information. One thing which is very impressive and makes you sound business like is saying something like: “I return my calls around 11:00 AM and again at 4:00PM”. Or you may indicate that you actually answer the phone at a couple of set hours in the day. You have now impressed him with your professionalism and organizational savoir faire.
Keep it short and sweet.
You may want to mention your email or your website in your message; but that lengthens the message. Many people will hang up after more than a few seconds of a phone message. They will move on to the next girl on the list and all your advertising and marketing efforts, which have brought the client so close, will be wasted. So how do you keep them interested? Most of all, your messages need to sound positive. Your potential client is taking a bit of a risk phoning you. You are asking him to take a bit more of a risk leaving his number. The least you can do is sound upbeat. You might also overcome any reluctance by being reassuring, “My callbacks are very professional and I make a point of being very discreet.”
Think of your message as a bit of a sales tease. To close the deal, you need your potential client to call back. So ask him to. Oldest sales wisdom in the world is that you have to ask for the sale; in this case you need to ask for the call back. Something as simple as, “Please leave me your number. I want to talk to you.” can increase the response rate significantly.
Of course, unless the number is blocked, you already have his number on your caller id. Should you call back? There is no hard and fast rule on that but here are a couple of common sense suggestions: if the call came in within five minutes of you seeing the number, a callback is almost always fine. Remember that you don’t know who your client maybe with so be absolutely neutral. “Hi this is Carrie, my phone tells me someone from this number called,” will get the ball rolling without getting either of you into hot water. Returning the call after five minutes, and you are getting into potentially difficult territory simply because your client’s life will have moved on. And it’s here that the miracle of texting can really help.
If your client has called you from his mobile you have a number which you can text to. Be smart. “Hi, it’s Carrie, I’m off the phone.” Will remind you client of the call he made. It can also set in motion a text conversation which may be more discrete than a phone call at that particular instant. Texts are great for setting up a time to call but they are no substitute for the information which a phone call gives an escort or her client.
Generally texts are best for setting up calls. Going back and forth typing with your thumbs is a bit of a time waster. At the same time, with their permission, texts can be a fun way of staying in touch with regulars. A little banter back and forth can land an appointment on a slow day. (And yes, cute selfies of your new lingerie can be effective; but only if you know your client wants them and has a secure phone.)
Email is another great way to communicate; but it can be off putting. The problem is that many girls have an automatic reply set up for their main email address. This can be effective if it is short and to the point
Thanks for emailing me. Take a look at my MyWebSite.com for more details.
is fine, but a bit impersonal.
Remember, the objective here is to connect with the potential client. If you have an auto response that is ok, but it is much better to take the bit of time required to write a short note in response to the specific request. An email asking, “Are you available?” can be answered in one word. Or in three lines with your website and your phone number front and center. The point of email is to get the potential client to call, or to book an appointment. Again, remember to ask, “I would love to take a few minutes on the phone to chat with you. Here is my number. I am available from 3-4:30 today. Let’s talk.” That will get your phone ringing.
The oh-so-subtle art of etiquette
So now you have taken our advice,; have got the phone basics working to your advantage; now, your client calls and you pick up your phone. You have a clear line and privacy. Now what?
First of all, be prepared. Have a note pad beside you. If you can, try to take and make your calls from the same place in your apartment. A desk is ideal. When the phone rings let it ring at least once or twice before answering. Use the time to focus on this one call.
Even if you are, don’t think of yourself as a desperate escort. And whatever you do, don’t sound like one. Instead, think of yourself as a professional businesswoman, as well as entertainer/muse/mistress. Different escorts present themselves in different ways and that presentation begins with the phone call. Are you in charge? Then speak that way. If offering a fun, friendly Girlfriend experience is your forte, then flirt a little on the phone. The higher your rates; the better your diction should be (rewatch My Fair Lady if need be). If you are marketing yourself as a college student; drop the slang. Remember that many of your potential clients will be older than you are, and so a slightly deferential tone, a bit of respect, can go a long way to paving the way to happy client relations.
Chat is not the only name of the game here; get his name. It may not be his real name, but that is a question for later, or maybe never. A name, any name is to avoid the awfulness of referring to a complete stranger as “Hon” or “Dear” or one of the other generic third person nouns people use instead of a real name. The easy way to accomplish this is to answer your phone with your working name and inquire of his. Something like, “Hi, this is Tracy, who’s calling?” will usually do the trick.
The second rule of great phone conversation is to relax. There is no point in rushing the call. If you are watching the clock, you are going to lose more clients than you gain. If you are, in fact, a bit pressed for time, tell your potential client right off the bat. “Arnold, just so you know, I have to run in about five minutes, but I am all yours right now.”
Recognize that for some potential clients the phone call booking the appointment is the most stressful thing they have done for a while. Even successful, confident, men may be well outside their comfort zone calling an escort. It may take them a little while to come around to the point of their call. You hold the cards here and because you do, you have the option of making it easy for your caller to ask for an appointment. But there is no need to rush. In fact, there are a lot of reasons not to jump right in, beginning with the fact you are learning a lot about your prospective client in those intervening minutes.
Asking a few questions breaks the ice and gives you not only information, but also an impression of your prospective date. “Do you live in town or are you visiting?” is an easy question and one which gives you a bit of data. “Have you made an appointment like this before?” (Note “an appointment like this” rather than “visited an escort” – you never know if it is law enforcement calling or recording. Be discreet.) With a visitor it is always a good idea to ask where they are staying both for screening purposes and to get a sense of their financial status.
A good question is easy for a prospective client to answer but the answer also gives you a chance to chat a bit. If an out of town client is staying at a nice hotel downtown, tell him about the perfect little, “only locals know”, restaurant around the corner. If he tells you that, no, he has never had an appointment like this before, that can be your cue to reassure him and suggest that he is in for a treat.
Some potential clients will want to get right down to business. They will want to discuss prices and activities between consenting adults. Many escorts point blank refuse to discuss these details on the phone and simply refer their prospective clients to their web sites. Others are more than happy to discuss donations “for their time”. Getting into the play by play is almost certainly an error – law enforcement is one issue, but the other and more important issue is that you are not operating a phone sex service.
What to do if a prospective client wants to know exactly what services you offer? This is where a website can be a Godsend. You can list whatever you want and refer the client to the site. Alternatively, you can very easily say, “Of course, for both our protection, I don’t discuss what might happen on the phone. We’ll have plenty of time for that when we meet.” Either way, it is always better to avoid any sort of sexual conversation.
Great phone is achieved by actively listening to your prospective client. Active listening is an art but it is also something which anyone can learn the rudiments of. Part of active listening is letting your caller speak, without interruption, until they are actually finished what they want to say. Then, take what they have said and reflect it back to them with a question or two. So, for example, if a caller tells you he is in town for a couple of days and is looking for some company, you come back with, “Well I have some availability tonight and tomorrow night, which would work better for you?” At this point he is already engaged in booking an appointment.
As an active listener you are naturally going to be paying close attention to what your prospective client is saying. There is no reason at all not to flirt a little – or even a lot. Nothing explicit, just enticements based on what you are hearing. If he is a businessman staying in a plush hotel, tell him about your cute little business suit. If he tells you he’s having a hectic, stressful, day, tell him about how relaxing your in-call is. What you are actively listening for are your prospective client’s needs, your responses are all about fulfilling those needs. The consenting adult activity is the icing on a very attractive cake.
Speaking softly helps a lot (which is why you want a great phone connection). Your client deals with verbally aggressive women at work and, often, at home. Creating a degree of flirtatious calm is immensely seductive.
There is, of course, a business component to a first call; but before you get to the identity confirmation and reference check – if that is what you require – getting to know a little about your potential client can be a great introduction for you both. You’ll know if you want the booking within a few minutes of beginning the call. Closing the sale does not have to be difficult.
Again, following the Salesmanship 101 handbook, you ask for the sale. After a few minutes of teasing fun, it should be very easy to say, “Arnold, this is great fun…now, when do you want to see me?” Get that commitment before moving on to whatever screening you use. Getting the “yes” always precedes the necessary paper work.
Giving great phone is about projecting a sense of empathy, enthusiasm and easy professionalism all at the same time. Do it right and you sell your bookings and create just the right mood for a delicious date.