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Make a Good Impression Over the Phone

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on August 3, 2010

For small businesses, a lot can transpire in a conference call: Deals get made, ideas are debated, and sensitive negotiations are conducted. Or worse: None of these things happen, because the people on the phone don’t know how to communicate energy, enthusiasm, and courtesy. Here are some tips to consider before you dial into your next conference call:

1. Start with the right service. If you’re hosting a conference call, use a quality conference service. Whichever service you choose, test it to be sure it portrays professionalism and sounds crisp and clear.

2. Use an agenda. You wouldn’t host a face-to-face meeting without an agenda, right? So why not use one for a conference call? Plan the discussion and goals in advance, just as you would for a meeting in the boardroom.

3. Don’t interrupt. Everyone’s contribution is equally important on a call, therefore it’s crucial to be a good listener, especially without visual cues. Wait your turn until the person speaking has finished.

4. Keep it quiet. Your customers or colleagues shouldn’t wonder where your attention is focused. No matter where you’re dialing in from, remember to convey the same focus and attention to the discussion as you would in person.

5. Turn off e-mail, Facebook, and any other distractions. Dedication shows, whether face to face or via airwaves.

6. Get out of your chair. Stand up when you’re talking on the phone. You’ll feel and sound more energetic, and that vigor will be conveyed to everyone on the call. Also, if you smile while speaking, your voice projects more clearly.

Andrew Pearce

Reader Comments


August 3, 2010 11:08 AM

Great tips Andrew. With more and more business being done over the phone today it's important to know how to speak on the phone and still sound professional. Although a phone call can seem like an excuse to do other things while you're having a call, the other person can definitely tell if you're not paying attention!

Robin Moorad

August 10, 2010 1:34 PM

#6 is something I've done for years as the result of coaching from one of my sales leaders. It describes some of the best skills I was ever taught and changed forever my phone presence. Thank you Andrew for reminding me!

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