first impression begins with phone call

I hate to interrupt people’s lives with a phone call, especially if they are busy or resting. My mother always said, “Only make phone calls between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.”
Good rule, except my closest friend retires around 8 p.m. and my college son who has no qualms about calling me at 2 a.m. is rarely alert enough to respond to 10 a.m. phone calls.
Even worse is calling a someone I have never met, such as a business and asking for information about the services provided. Something about asking an unseen total stranger for help leaves me tongue-tied.
However, these past couple of years, a number of times I have had to call and ask for help, or personally visit a dozen places to make a final decision. Because the telephone was definitely less time consuming, I forced myself to call to see if the services I wanted matched what they had to offer. Ahead of time I composed a list of questions, such as, how long it would take to start the service, how they would go about providing the service and a rough estimate of how much it was going to cost me.
Some places simply did not provide the services I needed. Others had little or no experiences, but confidently assured me that they were eager to try as they learned – at my expense.
One place, fit my requirements perfectly.
I refused to consider it.
My decision had something to do with the begrudging responses to my questions. I probably got as much information as any other place, but after I politely said, “thank you for your time.” I hung up and said, “Excuuuse me, I won’t bother you again.”
Another place I actually tired out. Never again. I tired of standing at the front desk, waiting for someone to leave their work long enough to take my check.
A couple places made it quite clear that they considered the services I specifically wanted something akin to asking for the moon.
I went searching elsewhere.
The businesses that I eventually chose were the ones the friendliest phone responses, frequently from a receptionist. For me, the person answering the phone reflected the whole business’s attitude.
One office in particular, I had barely begun asking questions before I was detailing what I needed to an eager-to-help receptionist. She answered my questions as best she could from her experience in the office. I probably did not gather any more information from her than I did the any other place, but she did. Before I had hung up, she had smoothly transited the conversation and a good time for an appointment even though I was not ready to schedule one at the time.
She still had that information when I called back to set up an appointment.
Every time I went to the office, she cheerfully greeted me and chatted a bit before returning to her work. It’s kind of nice to not feel like and interruption at a place wanting my business.