Having good telephone skills is crucial as the call may be the catalyst for a prospective sale or provide vital counseling for a member of public. However, since both parties may not see each other face-to-face, a telephone conversation may not lead to favourable results; on the flip side, it may lead to unintended misunderstanding.
Here are some tips:
Even voice tone
It is important to speak clearly in an even tone. If you are anxious or even short of breadth, the other party may perceive that you are distracted. This may cause the phone conversation to be terse and unproductive.
It is important to identify yourself to the other party before you proceed with the conversation. It is not a good idea to assume that the other party knows you.
Ask For Identification
Along the lines of the above point, you should also ask for the identity of the other party. You do not want to reveal confidential information to the wrong person on the other line! This is not as a far-fetched since speaking on a mobile phone may create identity distortions as compared to using a fixed-line phone.
If you are making a sale over the phone, it is important to ask the customer if you can have a few minutes of his time. You should then proceed with providing more important features of the product. Be mindful that if the receiver is speaking as if he is driving, his mind may not be fully registering what you are selling ? in this type of situation, it will be more productive to call him at his office or home.
If you receive a call from a member of public who is in an emotionally unstable state, it is good to ensure that you are not in a distracting environment; you should ensure that your full attention is with the caller. Remember not to speak too loudly and allow other people to get details of your confidential phone conversation.
It is rude to abruptly pick up an incoming call and expect your phone partner to hold. If the incoming call is urgent, it is a matter of courtesy to tell your phone partner that you will get back to him shortly. Remember to get his number.
Using the email/fax
In sales, you can complement the phone conversation with email attachments or even a fax. This allows you to go through the product's specification and together be more persuasive in closing the sales. The other party is able to better visualize your product.
If the battery in your handset is running low, remember to inform the other party. It also good practice to ask for his number if it is not reflected in your phone system.
About The Author
This article is controbuted by Colin Ong TS, Managing Director of MR=MC Consulting (http://www.mrmc.com.sg)