Advice:How successful are your phone calls?

By , published on 23rd August 2011

Making important telephone calls as opposed to a face to face conversation can be difficult and sometimes more unnerving. You can’t assess the other person eyeball to eyeball, you can’t see their body language and facial expressions, all of which makes it more difficult for you to gauge the success or otherwise of what you are trying to achieve. 

So here are five tips to help increase the odds in your favour:

1. Get off on the right foot and ask if it’s a convenient time to talk.

How often have you been in an interview with someone, the phone rings and they stop to pick it up? Yes, it’s rude and disrespectful to you and yet it’s the caller who gets the sharp ‘YES?’, as if it’s their fault!

So to ensure you don’t unnecessarily start off a phone conversation on a poor note, ask if it’s a good time to talk. Give them the chance to say no. At least you have shown some consideration by giving him or her the opportunity to continue or not.

2. Immediately build rapport.

To start building rapport immediately greet the person by their name. You are less likely to do this during a face to face meeting, but it’s essential during a phone conversation.

3. Keep the rapport going.

Keep the rapport going, by liberally using their name during the call and use it more frequently than you would normally do. Use of someone’s name replaces that feeling of closeness which comes naturally during a face to face meeting.

4. Smile with your voice.

Most people come across as plain bored when speaking on the phone, which again is a reaction to the lack of physical contact. Make a conscious effort to sound bright and breezy.

5. Finally, draw to a natural conclusion

Some people find it hard to finish a phone call, not wanting to interrupt the other person in full flow. Always try to lead the close by agreeing the next action –‘I will call you next week to discuss this point….’ AND most importantly stand up when you say your concluding phrase, as this naturally changes the tone of your voice which signals the end of the call without having to make excuses to hang up.

Try these ideas next time you have an important phone call to make and see your success rate soar.

For professional & impartial business advice contact Janette at Janette Whitney & Associates on 01403 733671.

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Janette Whitney

About Janette Whitney

Janette Whitney is an award-winning business consultant, media columnist and award-winning business author. She specialises in business growth strategies and finance and formed her consultancy business after a highly successful career in banking. Janette’s expertise has won her both national and regional awards which include ‘Consultant of the year’ and ‘Business Book of the Year’ award (as co-author of ‘The Essential Business Guide’).

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