As communication expert Steven Gaffney talks about, “Tone is 5 times the impact of the words you say.” Your telephone manners can draw someone you do not know well closer to you or can cause them to disconnect from you, especially when in business. Your telephone manners should be professional yet friendly. If you want to know how you sound when you are on the phone, record yourself the next time you are on a call and there is your answer. Below are 7 tips on how to connect with someone over the phone. These are simple tips, but they make a big difference.
- Before you make a call, sit up straight, take a deep breath, and smile. This will influence your tone and energy.
- Have a mirror by your desk so you can catch yourself when you are not smiling.
- Lower your voice, speak with your throat and not your nose.
- Talk directly to the phone-don’t put the person on speakerphone. It is rude and unprofessional and you are more likely to yell or raise your voice that way.
- Listen. Be present; do not multitask or do anything else, give the person your undivided attention. People are not stupid and they will know if you are not focusing on them.
- At the end of the call, hang up gently, don’t slam down the phone. Even if done so innocently, it conveys the wrong message as you leave your conversation.
- Most importantly, pace yourself and speak clearly. If you speak too fast, you will not only stress the other person out, you will lose them in the conversation. If you speak too slowly and in a monotone, you will put the person to sleep.
If you know someone who could improve on his or her telephone manners, share this post with them. As always, feel free to reach out to me for help!