Whether you’re in sales and making cold calls to drum up business or a graphic designer following-up with a client on a project, you’ll make a GREAT impression if you practice professional telephone etiquette:
Ask if now is a good time to talk – Most of the time, I only answer the phone if I seriously have the time to take the call; but on that rare occasion when I do answer the phone, the caller gets extra points if they first ask if now is a good time to talk. I can then tell the caller that I have 5 minutes to chat and they can tailor their message to fit that time, or we can find a time that works best for us to talk for a longer period of time.
Longer conversations – If you have a phone call to make and you know the conversation is going to take 20 minutes or more, consider scheduling this phone call in advance and email a short agenda. You will have the undivided attention of the person you’re calling and they will also be more prepared for the call since you’ve indicated what you want to discuss.
Stick to the topic at hand – Everyone’s time is valuable. If you’re initiating the call, have a clear idea of what you hope to accomplish/learn and be concise with your language.
Voicemail Message – Start your message with your name and phone number, indicate the reason for your call, the action you would like the person you’re calling to take and wrap up the message with your name and phone number. Speak slowly and clearly when sharing your name and number. Nothing’s worse than having to listen to a voicemail 2-3 times.
How do you like to make and receive phone calls? Any tips that I’ve missed?