Should a church make followup phone calls to first time visitors or guests?
If you choose to make those followup phone calls, are there some helpful tips to make a friendly connection rather than feeling like you’ve made an annoyance?
Sam Ranier gives us some excellent tips on calling church guests.
Here are his tips:
- Six tips for good practices
- Four tips for practices to avoid.
Phone calls are an important connection point with church guests. Not all guests will give you their phone numbers. For those who do, here are some guidelines to consider.
What to Do When Calling Church Guests
Clearly identify yourself. Make sure you mention your name and the name of your church. It’s easy to forget this step!
Double-check the name of the person you are calling. I tend to make my phone calls in batches. After I’ve made several phone calls, I can lose track who I am calling. When I’m making several phone calls in a row, I’ll write the name of the person on a Post-It Note and have it right in front of me. For each call, I’ll use a fresh Post-It Note.
Ask how you can serve them. You should ask every guest if you can help them. People new to the community need help with local connections. People with life changes often have spiritual questions.
Ask if they have prayer requests. One of the best ways a church can serve a guest is through prayer. Always ask guests how you can pray for them.
Ask if they have any questions about the church. Some guests have questions. Most will not ask unless you prompt them. Encourage guests to ask questions. Through the pattern of questions people ask, you’ll learn something about your guests and your church.
Be kind, be brief, and call at a convenient time. Kindness and brevity are a must. Also, early morning calls and late evening calls are ill-advised.
What Not to Do When Calling Church Guests
Don’t wait to follow-up. Call within the week of a guest’s visit. A Sunday visitor should receive a phone call by Wednesday, Thursday at the latest.
Don’t ask personal questions. There is a time and place for questions like, “Where do you work?” A phone call with a first-time guest is not one of those occasions.
Don’t use pressure as a tactic. With church guests, you’re not closing a deal. Rather, you should look for avenues to serve them. Aggressiveness is unnecessary and will scare away most people.
Don’t attempt to tell jokes. It’s awkward. Not many people can land a good joke over the phone with someone they don’t know.
The phone call is one means of communication with church guests. You should also write a letter and send an email if you have the contact information. My church now asks for social media handles from our guests as well. Contact someone two or three times, spread out over a couple of weeks. With your phone calls, follow this list of things to do and not to do.
Source: Follow up Calls at SamRanier.com
Sam’s tips are wonderful reminders.
You want your phone calls to express genuine care and helpfulness.