Good manners are good for business, while great manners can set
you apart. If you're under stress or in a hurry, it's easy to
let your guard down and fail to observe the basics. But if you
take a deep breath before you call, good manners can actually
get you the results you want - faster. Here's a rundown of some
quick tips to brush up on your phone manners and phone style.
Good manners are good for business, while great manners can
set you apart. If you're under stress or in a hurry, it's
easy to let your guard down and fail to observe the basics.
But if you take a deep breath before you call, good manners
can actually get you the results you want - faster. Here's a
rundown of some quick tips to brush up on your phone manners
and phone style.
Treat the call as if it were a meeting - have a purpose,
and an agenda.
Decide what you'll do if someone answers other than the
person you're calling. Would you prefer to leave a message,
go to voice mail, or call back later?
If you're on a scheduled call, be at your desk at the
Learn the names of the people who answer the phones at the
numbers you call most frequently. Speak pleasantly to them,
and if you talk to them very frequently, send them a card
or gift on their birthday or over the holidays.
Do's and don'ts
Don't type or shuffle papers while you're on the phone - it
suggests that you're not listening to the caller.
If you have to put the phone down, do it gently to spare
your caller's ear.
Rid your mouth of food, gum, cough drops, or candy before
talking on the phone - the receiver amplifies your noshing.
If you have to sneeze or cough, turn your head and cover
your mouth - and the receiver.
Speak directly into the receiver - don't bury it in your
shoulder or neck.
If you dial the wrong number, explain yourself and verify
the phone number so you don't repeat the call. Don't hang
up; that's just rude.
Cut down on the background noise when taking or making a
call. Radios, televisions, and even computer bings and
bleeps can be distracting over the phone.
Record the time and date the call came in.
Verify the caller's name, company name, and phone number.
Initialize the message, so if the person who received the
message has any questions, he or she can contact you.
Get a short statement about the caller's intent.
- Regina M. Robo, News Editor
Resources and related reading
Letitia Baldridge - Amy Vanderbilt's Complete Book of
Judith Martin - Miss Manners Guide for the Turn of the
Peggy Post - Emily Post's Etiquette
Peggy Post and Peter Post - The Etiquette Advantage in Business
Copyright 2000-2004 © Salary.com, Inc.
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