Networking Over the Phone

Posted on January 2, 2008 | Filed in Career

It’s a new year. There’s lots of opportunity to break out of the old boundaries and expand your circle of influence.

Tips to Create Instant Chemistry

  • Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and try to see things from their perspective
  • Adopt a “What can I do for you?” mindset
  • Be positive and enthusiastic
  • Make them feel good about themselves

Networking with Phone Calls

By improving your telephone efficiency, you can turn phone calls into networking  opportunities. Simply treat business calls as if they were meetings. Set at least one clear and specific objective and list the steps to achieving it. Before you make the call, write down your main goal and key points you want to cover. Also, schedule your calls together. Making all your calls in a row will make you more productive. Most of us lose efficiency when flipping back and forth from one task to another. Some calls, of course, may have to be made separately, such as if they involve different time zones.

Practice Makes Perfect

Start by calling the “least important” person. By the time you get to your most important calls, you’ll be pitch-perfect.D ecide ahead of time whether you prefer to give a message, go to voice mail, or call back later.

  • If you leave a message, it must reflect confidence, clarity, and credibility
  • Give your phone number twice, and repeat it slowly and distinctly so the recipient has a chance of getting it right without having to replay the message
  • When you are connected with the person, always ask “Is this a good time for you?”
  • If the person say they are busy, ask when would be a good time to schedule a call. Give them a choice of yeses (Monday or Tuesday?) rather than a yes or no choice (Are you free Monday?)

In Conversation

Once you are on the phone with the other person, listen to what they’re saying and to what’s going on in the background. If you hear the other line ring, ask them if they need to answer it, and assure them it’s all right with you.Paraphrase and make sure you understand what the other is saying throughout the conversation to ensure efficiency. Take a few seconds to recap whatever has been agree upon. This simple trick can save you from many misunderstandings.

Answering Calls

Greet callers courteously and identify yourself and your organization.To make caller feel special:

  • Answer the call unemotionally and professionally
  • As soon as the callers have identified themselves, let a smile flood your face and warmth pour out of your voice. If the caller is a complete stranger, just direct your enthusiasm to the subject of their call instead

Looking forward to all the connections in 2008!

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