Phone Savvy: You had me at "hello"
Posted by Rita Rocker on May 29, 2014 12:57 pm
An important part of building good business relationships is to give the impression of being a confident professional that clients and co-workers will be eager to have on their team. The way you speak over the telephone coveys approximately 85% of your message. Build a reputation as a highly professional business. Present the best possible company image by keeping staff informed on proper phone coverage . Below is a sample script you can follow:
Please advise Jake that I must speak with him before Thursday regarding his estimate on the costs associated with getting the Diamond Widget account set up. What is his schedule like between now and Thursday?
(The assistant informs you that he is only available between 10:45 and 12:00 noon today and is then out of town until Thursday morning.)
Let him know that I’m available at 10:50 and I’ll write him in my calendar. If I’m away from my office when he calls, please tell him to have me paged because it’s critical that we speak before he leaves on his business trip.
You then inform your office that you’re expecting an important call from Jake and that if he calls, you need to be paged. You absolutely must talk with him. To convey the utmost in professionalism, follow the tips below:
- Always say, “May I tell him/her who is calling?” rather than “Who’s calling?”
- If you need to transfer someone, be sure to say, “I will connect you to Mary Jones, who will be able to help you”. Avoid saying “transfer” which makes people feel like they’re getting the runaround.
- Always ask permission to put someone on hold.
- Repeat names, phone numbers and pertinent information slowly and clearly.
- Important! Watch your opening statements and tone of voice as you immediately set the tone and where the conversation will go.
- Visualize the person to remind you that you are engaged in a two-way conversation and that this person is your #1 priority.
- Check your body language and facial expression. Energy, frustration or any other mindset will be transferred. Emotions are often irrational while you are focused on a rational solution.
- Inform the individual as to when you will have an answer or be getting back to them. Always keep your word to call back at that time, even if you need to let them know that you’re still working on a solution and when you will call back again.