If you’re seeking an easy way to learn more about your clients, you may need to look no further than your telephone’s display screen! Caller ID can be a helpful sales and customer service tool, and using it wisely can help set your company apart from the competition. Here are three ways caller ID can help your business thrive:

Caller ID can help you make a personal connection.

Having great answers to a potential client’s questions is very important, but for a standout sales call, connecting on a personal level is key. Caller ID can be a great jumping-off point. As you’re chatting with a prospect, glance at caller ID and do a quick Internet search for their area code. Now you have a conversation starter! “I see you have a 312 area code—are you calling from Chicago? I love Chicago! Have you been to any Cubs games this season?” You don’t have to be familiar with your potential client’s neck of the woods to start a friendly chat. “I notice you have 416 area code — that’s Toronto, right? What’s the weather like today?” Expressing an interest in your caller’s life will make them feel special, and show that you and your company care.

Caller ID might help you save a sale.

You may be taking sales calls from your trusty desk phone, but there’s no guarantee that your caller has a great connection. Make a habit of jotting down caller ID when you receive a call, and you’ll be ready get in touch with that potential client even if her phone cuts out. Imagine you’re on a call with the power company when your cell phone flakes — wouldn’t you be impressed if the power company rep you were chatting with called you back? Recording and using caller ID might just secure you a new customer, and will certainly help you make a good impression in the case of an occasional technical glitch!

Caller ID can help ensure fantastic follow-ups.

If you haven’t yet had the chance to make a personal connection with a client or potential client, do an area code search and prep potential conversation topics before making your follow-up call. Check out current events, landmarks, sports teams, or random factoids associated with the region, and have them at the ready when you pick up the phone. An area code search can keep your professionalism in check, too. Always know what time zone you are calling before you make a follow-up call — You’d hate to be bothered by a pesky salesperson at 9 p.m., right? A quick area code search will help you find the ideal time to follow up.