Monday, December 05, 2005

The Importance of Voicemail and Phone Etiquette

How frustrating it is to call someone and hear them answer,”Hello this is 555-8904”. This is very unprofessional and it can drive away most serious callers from your business. When you answer the phone, you must NEVER say,”Hello this is....” and you give the number. The caller knows what number he just dialed so it’s not necessary to repeat it to them. Your greeting sets the tone for the conversation. It must be a warm and personable greeting. The caller should be inspired to speak with you. You therefore need to answer the phone with a proper,”Good evening” greeting and identify yourself. Something simple like,”Good morning, Peter here, how can I help?.
On the other hand, when YOU’re the one making the call, it’s a little different.
Here are some steps to follow and bare in mind.
a) Identify yourself
b) Ask permission (Tommy is it a good time to talk or Tommy do you have 5 minutes)
c) Personalize it (How was your son’s soccer game?)
d) Ask questions, practice and prepare.
You want to write down what you need to accomplish on the call and also be prepared to leave a voice message. Voice messages should also be warm and personable such as,” Hey this is Martha, sorry I’m out but I’ll call you back...?” or “Hey this is Natalie, thanks for calling. Please leave your name CLEARLY and SLOWLY, maybe spell it if it’s unusual. Also let me know what time is best for me to return your call” These are clear messages and they tell the caller right away that you’re a serious person and they will surely look forward to your call.
What’s just as important though, is to make certain that you return the call(s) within the alloted time and STICK TO YOUR WORD EVERY TIME. If the message says to call between 6 and 7 on Friday, DO NOT call after 8. You need to always show that you respect their time and schedule which is different to your own.
As long as you improve your telephone skills, you will indeed build better relationships and build a much larger and more profitable business. Communication in business is very important so it should always be done with confidence, calmness and professionalism. Be sure to stop by my website and request more info so that we can connect personally and discuss all of the issues mentioned on this blog and more.
Once again, let me thank you very much for reading.
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