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Business Phone Etiquette – First Impressions Count
Professional phone skills involve more than picking up the phone and talking. Your telephone is your “real-time” connection with clients and customers. Because of this connection, proper phone etiquette is an essential element to the success of your business.
Your day-to-day phone conversations are an integral part of being in business. Have you thought about your phone presence and the positive, or negative, impression you may be leaving with potential or current customers? Have you made the time to fine-tune your business phone etiquette?
Professional phone conversations involve three key elements:
1. Your business calls should sound professional. Professional means they should be uninterrupted and quiet. Having distracting background noise can definitely leave a negative first impression. If you are making the call, make sure you are in a quiet location. You want your customer to focus on the conversation and not become distracted by background noise. If you have to find a better location in which to talk, let the caller know that you’ll call them back as soon as you are able. It is better to call them back than to deal with unprofessional distractions.
2. When calling a customer, be clear about what you want to say. Take the time to be prepared before you make a call. I often write out an agenda or a list of what I want to cover during my conversation. If they are calling me, I keep pen and paper handy so I can jot down notes and numbers that I’ll want to remember or points I’ll want cover during the call. Having an agenda or list can be a great time saver because if you are prepared you can get to the point quickly. I’ve found that when I am focused on what I want to cover, I can keep the call on track and on time.
3. Be sure to follow-up once the call has ended. Generally, this is done with a quick email. Thank your customer for their time. This follow up email is also the perfect time to recap the important points of your conversation. It is important that you have in writing any important details that you may need to address later or that you’ll want the other person to have in writing. This follow up recap also serves to show that you were actively listening and taking the conversation seriously.
Fine-tuning your business phone etiquette is a vital element to your over-all professional business image. Your phone etiquette is integral part of making a professional and positive business first impression.
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Content copyright © 2013 by Sharon Michaels. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Sharon Michaels. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Sharon Michaels for details.
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