Unfortunately, even today, most of our selling is over the telephone where attention to dress and appearance tend not to matter. However, the telephone presents its own limitations and opportunities.
Of all the skills employed when you speak on the phone, the most basic ingredient is usually the hardest to keep in mind-common sense. You must regard the telephone as a friend and not an inconvenience. Once you begin to regard your phone as an information tool, your attitude will change for the better.
In a questionnaire, 15% of the respondents said they avoided using the telephone as much as possible, 51% showed no enthusiasm for using it as a business tool, and only 33% of 1/3 said they enjoyed using it and would at every opportunity.
With the advent of e-mail and texting, it’s gotten worse. This way people can avoid even speaking with you. Don’t let the phone become something you avoid. Use it wisely and increase your business, solve your problems, get answers to your questions and give good service to your customers.
Let’s look at what communication really is. True communication takes place when information is exchanged, understanding is promoted and questions are answered. Of course, there are many barriers to communication that don’t allow this to happen. They include culture, lifestyle and occupation. Different cultures produce different dialects and languages which are extremely difficult to understand over the phone. Even the same word in English is often interpreted differently by the British and Americans.
Although you should have a good command of the language, avoid using too many words. Don’t use 50 cent words when nickel words will do. If you want to get most people where they live, keep the language simple.
The telephone can present some problems of its own. Since it isn’t a vehicle that allows you to interact on a face-to-face basis (like Skype does), there’s no attachment between the parties. However, frequent phone contact between people can produce a bond and a certain degree of loyalty.
It’s more difficult to get good feedback over the phone because we’ve learned to filter out messages we know are likely to upset us. We hear primarily what we want to and nothing else. To counter these built-in limitations, effective phone users must tailor their conversations positively. Since we don’t have eye contact, we must rely on other skills that may not be on target.
Have you ever visualized the person you’re dealing with over the phone? Voice, manner and experience of that person come together forming a mental image. How many times have you been right? Or wrong?