Have you ever telephoned someone and felt it did not go well? That you came across as disjointed or unprofessional? It has happened to us all! Even though email has become the preferred communication tool for many, there are still occasions where you need to use the telephone. And many people fall short of being effective in this area. Here are some ideas to help you make good impressions one the telephone.
- Good telephone communication starts even before you pick up the phone. We are all in such a hurry that we often don’t take the time to properly prepare for a call. That is a mistake. It is important to plan what you are going to say before you make the call. Compose and organize your thoughts–on paper if necessary.
- When you contact the person, always identify yourself even if you think the person will know your voice. Sometimes there may be background noise that will interfere with the person hearing you or she was preoccupied when answering the telephone and was not paying attention. Be sure to enunciate clearly for the same reason.
- Set up the call in an orderly way. “I have three things I need to talk to you about, Steve.” Then proceed through them without wandering from topic to topic.
- Be careful not to talk in a monotone voice. Give your voice inflection and project a sense of energy and enthusiasm unless it is inappropriate to your message.
- The basic rate of speech is around 150-175 words a minute. In your rush to get everything covered in as short a time as possible, don’t exceed that. A rapid pace will make you sound disorganized and unsure of yourself. But if you speak too slowly, it can be irritating. Within reason, try to match your speaking pace to that of your listener.
- When leaving a message on someone else’s voicemail, always speak slowly and distinctly when leaving your telephone number. Pretend that you are writing the number in the air as you say it. Repeat it twice and suggest the best time to call you back. Also, state your name in the beginning of the message and once again at the end.
- Change your voicemail greeting frequently, noting whether you are simply away for an hour or a week. Encourage callers to leave a detailed message rather than just a name and number. This helps you expedite the return of information and makes you sound more professional.
- After concluding the call wait for the other person to hang up in case they think of something else they need to mention.
For More on how to make a good impresion on the telephone and Telephone Skills Training:
- Check out the customized telephone skills training – in-house and virtual.
- More on Communication Skills: “Message Sent, Message Received: How well do you communicate?“
Are you looking for a trainer to give your team a competitive edge, Contact me, we will customize programs and sessions for results.
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