Ah the humble telephone call… it has been an integral part of modern day communication for years and years. Offices and homes are not complete without a telephone, and even cars have in-built phone systems these days. But as with all things, etiquette changes over the years and what used to be ‘the done thing’ is changing, particularly in the commercial market. The last thing you want to do is to alienate business associates by getting it wrong, so we’re going to help you out right here by letting you know what’s expected these days.
Keep Your Small Talk Small!
You may find yourself with a quiet morning (generally the rule is the more coffee you have consumed, the less there is to do!). But whoever you are phoning might be struggling under a massive workload, or racing to meet a critical deadline. Always bear this in mind, and don’t be tempted to draw them into lengthy discussions about the weather.
If you know that your intended subject for discussion is a meaty one, then it’s as well to let the recipient know beforehand. In business these days, meetings are often conducted over the phone and if your discussion is likely to go on then it will benefit you both to schedule some time in your diaries when you will be able to have a full conversation. Don’t take them by surprise – let them know you need a certain amount of their time and you will be much more likely to be greeted by a friendly voice.
And on the subject on planning… make sure you know what you want to achieve from a call before you make it. Write a little list so that you don’t forget to mention everything. With less ‘umming and erring’ you will come across as organised and assertive.
It’s not just phone calls that dominate our working life these days. Video conferencing such as Skype is commonplace. Again, it is best to schedule a call rather than catch someone off-guard. Obviously when you video call somebody it is essential that you are looking smart – so those of you ‘working from home’ in your pyjamas might like to slip into something less comfortable first!
Always use the right tool for the job. A quick two minute telephone call is fine for a small question, but for anything that needs to be discussed at length a video call is probably better.
Some Things Never Change…
As much as the simple phone call has evolved, there is still no excuse for poor manners. Always answer the phone with your name and the name of the company. Be sensitive to the person you care calling – make sure you listen and don’t talk over them. And don’t forget your Ps and Qs!
Always remember to smile when you talk, you will come across as positive, friendly and approachable. Never forget your smile can be heard and you are sure to impress your associates and go far!
- License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://pixabay.com/static/uploads/photo/2013/03/23/10/11/woman-96109_150.jpg
- License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://pixabay.com/static/uploads/photo/2012/04/13/15/04/teacher-32747_150.png
- License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://pixabay.com/static/uploads/photo/2012/03/01/01/10/business-20031_150.jpg
Sam Fright is a business analyst by profession. While there are many factors that help a business to succeed, but singles out the humble phone call to be the most effective. Cordless phones especially is much liked in the corporate circles.