SOME CUSTOMERS STILL DO USE THE TELEPHONE, YOU KNOW.

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What do sucking, nose-picking,

                                               

mumbling, passing wind, 

                                                          

yawning and crunching

                             

all have in common?

                                   

     At least one answer: LOST TELEPHONE SALES! 

     Most of us wouldn’t dream of building any of these behaviors into a personal sales presentation, yet there are employees out there in every conceivable type of business –from service stations and doctor offices, to taxidermists and lawyers (hmmmm, some interesting pair-ups there)– who have become such TXT MSG zombies they simply can’t imagine anyone would notice distracting sounds in mid-message.

     Oh, sure, I love it when someone cracks her chewing gum or chomps his ice cubes while I’m trying to get directions or schedule a meeting.  It’s enough to make me switch ears and start to write left-handed! 

     Even in a closed office with the door locked and the blinds drawn (Gee, really sounds like a place for alert people!), there’s no hiding behind (or under) the phone!  Think about it.  Can you tell when someone on the other end of your telephone call is smiling?  Angry?  Stressed out?  Preoccupied?  Tuned in?  Of course you can. 

     So what’s all this about, Hal?  I run my business (or department) and I don’t have problems like this!  I always listen carefully, take notes, speak clearly, act pleasant –even cheerful, and I make sure to speak slowly and repeat information or ask the other person to, to check for accuracy. 

     Besides which, I also speak directly into the phone; I sit up straight; I gesture to would-be interrupters to have a seat or come back later.  I always ask to be excused if my dog barks next to my shoulder, or if my neighbor jackhammers through the office wall while critical details are being discussed. 

     I never eat or drink while I’m talking (an extraordinarily difficult thing to do by the way), and I always summarize the main points covered at the end of a lengthy discussion.

     Good for you, Mr. Perfecto, but when was the last time you made some “mystery shopper” calls to your own business to see how others handle your phone? 

     Is this a big deal?  You bet! 

Every person who calls your place of business forms an impression/image of what your business is all about in the first tens seconds of the first phone call! 

     And since there are no second first impressions, it would seem to make good sense to make unannounced, periodic calls into your business (or have a friend do it if you feel too stupid putting a handkerchief –remember those?– over the mouthpiece to disguise your voice). 

     If you hear any of the repulsive sounds in the headline above, or the call is answered while the other person is in mid-sentence talking to someone else, or says “Thank you for calling The Bonebreak Clinic; can you hold?” and then puts you on hold before you can answer (or as you are in the process of inhaling before answering), or sounds like “AnkyooferawlinduhOwnrakelynnic,” you might have a problem. 

     You may want to bring in a telephone trainer . . . or a new receptionist. 

     At any rate, don’t underestimate the importance of how EVERY call is answered. 

     An existing customer seeks reassurance and reinforcement with each call. 

     A prospective customer actually equates the business with the voice that answers. 

     Does the voice answering your phone project the image you want your business to have?  Does it portray trust and confidence and a cheerful, respectful, responsive and accommodating attitude?  Is that asking too much?  How important are your sales to you?         

# # #

                                                   

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Hal@Businessworks.US or 302.933.0116

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals. God Bless You.

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