My Top 5 Tips for How to Make Effective and Productive Phone Calls.

Phone calls will always remain a key part of business communications. Whether you are making a sales pitch, connecting with a long-standing client, or doing an initial job interview, having strong phone skills will help you achieve your goal.

Preparation:

  • Be clear as to the purpose of your call.
  • Practice your greeting and your opening statement/s.
  • Have some ideas for small talk topics to cover before you start the goal-driven conversation.
  • Prepare a few sign-offs or call-to-action statements to end the call.

Before the call:

  • Turn off all distractions and alerts. Close windows and minimize extraneous sounds.

Right before you dial:

  • Stand up if possible. If you need to take notes or use your laptop, sit up straight. By standing, you increase your energy and passion, and this comes across in your conversation. Do not slump or hunch over your phone. You will come across as too laid-back and disinterested. 
  • Smile. Your client or the interviewer won’t see this, but they will hear it in your voice. You will come across as warm and engaged.
  • Take a few deep breaths, and relax your shoulders. 

When speaking:

  • Aim to slow down your pacing. Doing this will immediately improve your diction and lessen the use of verbal tics: um, ah, etc. In addition, a slower pace conveys confidence and authority.
  • Use your natural hand gestures. Non-verbal plays a role in phone calls, so keep using your hand gestures as though the other person could see you. Gesturing helps clarify our thinking, which helps convey a clearer message.

PRO-TIP: buy a good quality headset. It will allow you to sit or stand correctly and use your hands.

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