NEW DELHI: From selling to buying, registering to solving complaints, pre-sales prospecting to post-sales feedback, recruitment interviews to appraisal interviews — almost everything in today’s business organisations gets done over phone. No wonder then, we all need to be ‘telephone savvy’ and ‘telephone friendly’ to maximise our effectiveness.
All of us are aware of the importance of the visual aspect in communication as interpretations are drawn more on the basis of what we see. However, when it comes to telephonic conversation, we can somehow never be sure. And that doubt is on account of the fact that we cannot see the facial expression or the eyes of the other person and vice versa. This indeed is a major challenge which needs to be overcome for us to be effective.
Then again, there is a saying — a smile travels across the wires. So a ‘hello’ over the phone may be sweet, warm and welcoming, encouraging a person to speak up. Or it may sound like a warning ‘why did you disturb’, or even intimidating as if to say ‘back off’! An added challenge over telephone is the limited availability of time and attention span. If we beat around the bush, by the time we make our point, the other person might hang up or switch off mentally. And of course, the disturbances over the line, frequent disconnections and cross connections also add to the challenge of getting across effectively.
Here are some points, which can make communicating more effective:
1. What we have to communicate should be clear to us before we call a person so we can be efficient, focused, and attentive.
2. Let us be short and specific and use simple language.
Although the temptation to
impress is always there and we aim at persuading the person to do what we want him to, chances are better if we are straight,
simple and to the point.
3. Check if the other person needs any more information or clarifications. This feedback will help us ensure and understand the response and comprehension of the other person.
4. Always maintain a polite and courteous tone.
5. Trying to visualise the
person with whom we are speaking helps to give a more personal touch to the conversation.
6. Most importantly, smile
and have a positive attitude.
Telephone etiquette that
creates goodwill and the
1. It is important to introduce or identify oneself — not all
people know us by our voice.
2. It is also important to ensure that we have the right person on the line.
3. Make sure the other person is free.
4. Never eat or chew anything while speaking.
5. Never work along — read or write on a file, or talk to another person — while speaking to a person over telephone.
6. Thank the person for his time. Valuing other people’s time makes them value ours.
(The author is a learning
and development professional and the chief synergist
at Kiai Peoplez Solutions
at Delhi. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)