Stepping Stones: Tips For Getting Quotes

If you have to call people to get quotes for articles, you already know that it can be difficult to connect in this busy day and age. When you are first starting out, you may not want to appear “pushy,” but I’m here to tell you–if you don’t stand firm and have a strategy, you’ll be at deadline with no material. Here are some smart strategies for getting people on the phone–and getting what you need:

  • At first contact, consider calling when you know they won’t be there. Leave a message detailing what you are looking for, along with your telephone number. Make sure to let them know the publication you are writing for. This way they will be more prepared when you do connect.
  • If possible, e-mail them as well. Include all your contact info–you never know how people prefer to get in touch.
  • When leaving your number on a machine or voicemail, repeat it twice and end with your name so they have it handy.
  • If you won’t take up tons of their time–say so.
  • If you do connect with them on the first try, be sure and identify yourself immediately. People typically think you are trying to sell them something.
  • When you get the info, repeat the quote back to them for verification.
  • Get them to spell their name and give you their title. Repeat these back as well. I’ve had a Kathi, a Gym and a Tym that I would have certainly gotten wrong if I didn’t ask. Don’t make that mistake!
  • Calling every other day is better than every day. You look less desperate.
  • Don’t forget the thank you.