Using our cell phones has become a regular, everyday part of our lives. I use mine for work, at home, in the car, everywhere. Over my years of answering phones at work, I have learned a few techniques that can improve the quality of conversation. The person on the other end of the line hears a lot more than just the words we’re saying. Let’s walk through a few of them.
- When talking on the phone, make sure to be in a environment that is appropriate and quiet. It may sound obvious, but a lot of background or ambient noise will distract your contact and make you sound less professional. Also make sure you’re in a place where you feel comfortable discussing the topic.
- During an important call, I always try to stand. I pace in my office or stand at my desk. The reason? The tones of your voice change when standing as opposed to sitting. You often sound clearer and come across as more energetic. This also prevents you from being distracted from the conversation. You can’t play solitaire or surf the web, which gives the person you are talking to your full attention and focus.
- Now, this is perhaps the most important point I’m going to make, so pay attention. When you’re talking on the phone, it is so important to SMILE! I know it sounds odd, but people truly can HEAR a smile! This makes you seem friendlier, more at ease, and makes people more comfortable talking to you.
Think about some of the people you talk to on the phone. My guess is that you could easily list the people who practice these skills and even more easily list those who don’t. I’ve taken the occasional call in which I knew the person was sitting at his desk, playing on his computer, and not smiling or being engaged in the conversation. These people don’t get my business. They don’t get a return call. They don’t get remembered. All of these things make me feel unimportant. The person on the other end can pick up on all of these subtleties.
If you practice these simple rules, your contacts will enjoy your conversations more, look forward to your calls, and be more open to what you have to say because of it. These are all very small things that can easily be accomplished and make your phone calls more productive.
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