Work Secrets

Business telephone etiquette

More than 140 years ago, the great inventor Alexander Graham bell presented to the General public a great creation — the phone. Very soon there was a need in professional phone etiquette, which since then did not change much. Even how calls answered is an art.

Business telephone etiquette — the ability to briefly concerning convey the necessary information and get an answer to it. People talking on phone so that another person can hear you is an art. You can understand it — learn a few rules and constantly adhere to them. Following the etiquette of communication will greatly facilitate your life, eliminate misunderstandings from colleagues, clients and partners, and contribute to early career growth. 

Cell phone etiquette at work or business telephone etiquette

Professional phone etiquette is a key element of a modern office. Many people spend half an hour discussing a problem that can be solved in just 2 minutes. Is it worth drawing an analogy with the truth that time is money? That is where phone etiquette training is needed. 

A long phone conversation can earn you a reputation as a boring and empty-mouthed blah blah talker. In Japanese companies, strict measures are practiced: an employee who can’t solve a work issue over the phone within 3 minutes is fired. A similar attitude to business phone call can be seen in other countries.

Telephone etiquette script 

It is important to remember that when you talk on the phone, the other person does not see you. Your business phone call is your face. It creates an impression of you, so it is in your best interest to make your voice sound friendly and conducive to dialogue. Exclude monotonous or impatient intonations, your speech should be meaningful and interesting. Be able to listen: a person is irritated when he is interrupted and asked questions that he has already answered.

Speak clearly. Sometimes the listener can’t understand you. Don’t try to raise your voice, just pronounce the words more clearly.

Preparing for business phone call

You need to prepare for business communication in advance. Do not overestimate your strength — at a crucial moment, excessive self-confidence can fail.

If you are the initiator of the call, make a conversation plan. Before the dialogue, do not forget to take it with you so that it is in front of your eyes. The statistics of corporate calls are unreliable — unnecessary pauses, as well as repetitive, unnecessary words and phrases take up to 40% of communication.

The business telephone etiquette provides for two categories of calls — warm and cold.

  • Cold conversations are strictly strict and concise. Valid for short-term and primary contacts.
  • Warm communication involves creating a relaxed atmosphere. It encourages mutual understanding and further cooperation. Warm calls are addressed to regular and important customers.

How do I answer my phone

Start a conversation using the following scheme: 

    1. Say hello
    2. Introduce yourself. This must be done even if the subscriber knows who you are. Business phone call allows you not to introduce yourself. If the Secretary answers the phone, ask the right person to answer the phone. If it’s not there, ask when it will be. You can leave your contact details or arrange a call later.
    3. To relieve tension before the main part of the conversation, say a few warm words. For example, ask how the other person is doing. If you know his family, you can ask about it. However, do not forget that communication is business. Don’t get carried away. It is enough to exchange two or three phrases.
    4. If you know that the other person may be busy, it is appropriate to ask before the conversation whether he is free and can give you his attention.
    5. Go to the heart of the conversation using the “lead” method. You can ask an interesting question about the subject of the conversation or succinctly Express your attitude to it.
    6. Briefly describe the situation and ask questions. Listen carefully. 
    7. At the end of the conversation, express your hopes for a positive result and wish the other person all the best.

Remember: the first person to say goodbye and hang up is the one who called.

Key points of business phone call 

  • Make business calls during business hours. In exceptional cases — not earlier than 8.00 and not later than 20.00.
  • Discuss the most important issues in the morning.
  • If the caller doesn’t answer immediately, don’t hang up. Give him time. Wait for 6-7 beeps.
  • If they call you, it is better not answering phone right away. It is best to accept a call between 2 and 3 signals.
  • A business conversation with phone calls should last 3-4 minutes. If the problem involves a long conversation, arrange a personal meeting.
  • If the conversation is interrupted, the conversation initiator should call back.
  • The Secretary can call you instead. If they call you when you are busy, the Secretary can take the call.
  • If the speaker has said everything important and begins to “talk about nothing”, do not waste your time. Politely interrupt him. You can use templates: “I’m Sorry, but I have a second call on the line”, “It was nice to talk to you, but I need to go urgently…”, “Can I call you back later?”etc.
  • It is unacceptable to answer a call and ask to wait and go finish other things. This is disrespectful. Apologize and say that you will call back after a certain time. Be sure to call back.
  • You can only call the other person’s phone number if they gave you the number themselves. But on weekends and holidays it is better to forget about it at all. If someone else gave you a personal number, you are not allowed to call it.
  • If you have a wrong number, don’t ask where you are or whose number it is. Apologize, drop the call. Call me again. Ask if you have dialed the correct number. Only then continue.
  • You cannot drink tea or other beverages or eat during business communication. 
  • Do not allow slang words to occur in your speech.
  • If you picked up the phone and someone else is being asked-for example, a colleague or boss-don’t ask who is calling and what the issue is. Exception — if this is part of your authority.
  • If you are busy and can’t talk, let us know how long it will take to call you back.
  • “Hanging calls” – a gross violation of the etiquette of business negotiations on the phone! If you promised to call back, you must do so. Even if the circumstances have changed, and the conversation on the phone is no longer relevant.
  • Make sure that there are always sheets of paper and a pen next to the phone. 
  • Do not trust the discussion of particularly important or secret cases during phone call. These things should be discussed only in person.
  • Listen carefully. During the dialogue, it is easy to get distracted. If you ask for a repeat, the subscriber may not like it, and your reputation will suffer. 

Business telephone etiquette is a silent language, but it helps to say and see many things. How you behave during communication depends on whether you will achieve your business goals. Remember: the person on the other end of the phone is mentally drawing your portrait. We wish you to always look your best!

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