Good phone manners and telephone skills are an absolute necessity for telemarketers and sales professionals. Here we briefly describe some of the techniques used to improve telephone skills.
Your voice and mood
Smile is contagious. Whether you are talking on phone or face to face, a smiling face will win you more friends. The single most important part of regular success on phone is understanding how a cheerful disposition is infectious, encouraging and welcoming. If you are working in sales you will double your success rate by learning to control your moods and by always keeping an optimistic, can-do attitude. To achieve a pleasant tone in your voice, keep yourself happy and smiling even if you are talking in phone. If you are in your office, remember to keep your favourite things on your office table, like a photo of your loved ones. This will help you recover easily from the tensions and frustrations of office life, while you are on phone. If everything fails, take a deep breath before you attend the phone.
If you are working in an office and attending an official call, first greet and welcome the caller with a good morning (If in morning) or good afternoon. Welcoming might include announcing your name, title and/ or company name.
Eg:- “ Good morning , Telstra Services , Anand Selvam Speaking “ . or in situations where you don’t have to give your title or company name ,
“Good morning, this is Ananda Selvam speaking “
Offer your name clearly and distinctively so that your contact can hear it . The caller will naturally give his name. If that is not forthcoming. You can ask for that. For example
“What shall I call you? “
“What do you like to be called? “
“May I ask who is calling, please?”
Incase if you have to keep the caller on hold ask their permission first .Only If the caller is a difficult one, try to explain him the situation. Suggest how long he may have to hold. If it drags longer, get back to him and inform him of the delay.
If you happen to attend a call for your workmate, treat it with care and respect. Take a message from the caller, which includes name and time of call. Also get an appropriate time to call him/her back.
Eg :- “ Can I tell Sharma , what is it about?”
“What’s a good time for Sharma to call you back? “
Mastering the phone vocabulary is important. The wrong choice of words you use in a phone conversation can make it a virtual nightmare for the person on the other end. This can be improved only through practice. If you are employed as a telemarketer or you are planning a sales career, the first step is to imagine a situation and write down the conversation. As a second step try to improve your vocabulary in the written conversation, until you are satisfied. Suppose after making a call, if you think you could have talked to that person in a more effective way, write down the conversation and try to improve it to your satisfaction. Next time stick to the improved version. Bad words and grammatical mistakes will never impress the listener.
Successful phone conversation
Good conversation is all about good listening. Effective listening is recognizing and recording accurately what your contact is telling you. If it is a business call verify that the caller understands correctly what you say, by asking questions or repeating it. Same way verify the main points the contact had told you, by repeating and paraphrasing back. Asking questions back is another good way of verifying the points.
Becoming the best phone guy / gal
(a) It is not really pleasant to dial wrong numbers, so before you dial make sure that the number is correct. Incase if you have dialled a wrong number apologise by saying “ sorry , wrong number”.
(b) Make sure that your conversations with busy people are brief and concise. If someone is too busy to spend time on phone at the time of your call, ask them for an appropriate time to call later.
(c) When calling friends who do not recognize your voice, announce yourself right away.
(d) Speak as clearly as you can and try to smile because this will add some warmth to the tone of your voice. Excuse yourself and put the phone aside if you need to cough or sneeze – don’t start sniffing and spluttering into the phone.
(e) A great way to show respect and warmth to the person you’re speaking to is to find out their name and use it. It helps to personalise your interaction with them and makes them feel more comfortable.