You know the feeling: you’re on a roll, having a great morning making contact with clients, moving forward and then it happens. You call a client and reach their voicemail. It feels like a dead-end and takes the wind out of your sails. Even if you’re skilled in leaving messages that get returned, it’s still a missed connection that will require a follow-up. It will require more of your attention.

These roadblocks, these delayed connections can come in the form of voicemail, email and even text messages. You often can’t be sure if your message was received or if it was listened to or viewed in its entirety. While it’s helpful to have a read-receipt on emails and texts, the best connection is in person. But those missed connections can help you get there.

Email can be a good tool to keep in touch and keep clients updated. The client can read them when it’s convenient and respond easily. The challenge with email is getting readers to open it. Subject lines are key. What will make them stop scrolling and click? Build urgency into your language; make it personal or even ask a question. Once they open the message, make sure the body of your email is clear and concise, getting to the point quickly and encouraging action. Do you want a reply or a phone call? Make it clear and make it easy for the client to do.

Voicemails present a different challenge and opportunity. There’s no guarantee that your message will be listened to, but, if it is, this is a chance to let your personality shine. Make the message light, make it personal and make it genuine. Listeners can tell when you aren’t interested or invested. Be sure you’re communicating your concern for the client and your relationship with them. Voicemails can also benefit from a call to action at the close. Ask for a callback or tell them a time you’ll be touching base again.

Texting is a convenient way for you and your client to chat if you have received their permission, so make sure you’re using this tool appropriately. This is the perfect place for quick questions or comments, or to schedule a meeting. But if you’re not getting a reply, don’t push. Respect the client’s space and try another form of communication to get back on track.

Delayed connections through voicemail, email and text can add time and effort to communicating with a client. Take the opportunity to hone your email crafting skills, and to ensure that your voicemails are personal and genuine. Speaking in person and by phone isn’t always possible, so it’s best to make your other points of contact really shine.

Berkley Industrial Comp is pleased to share this material with its customers. Please note, however, that nothing in this document should be construed as legal advice or the provision of professional consulting services. This material is for general informational purposes only, and while reasonable care has been utilized in compiling this information, no warranty or representation is made as to accuracy or completeness.