People can make the mistake of thinking that etiquette is something people only do face to face. Not so! Observing etiquette on the phone is very important, especially if you are trying to sell something to the person at the other end of the line. Here is how to ensure the person at the other end of the line doesn’t blow a whistle in your ear!
Ditch the script… make a plan using plain English instead
One mistake telephone sellers can make is to sound rehearsed over the phone. Nothing is more annoying to a listener than to detect that a script is being reeled off and this effect is magnified if the scripted speel in not in a language you speak fluently. The listener at the other end of a scripted sales call immediately feels like they are not important and, regardless of culture, this can send people reaching for their whistle to blow in your ear! If the person you are due to speak to doesn’t speak English well, use simple, unscripted language and avoid complex grammar in sentences.
Speak more slowly
When you communicate over the phone, people don’t have the advantage of seeing your facial expressions, your body language or how you gesture. More than 50% of communication is non-verbal so you should know that communication over the telephone is actually quite a difficult thing to do. Now add in a language and cultural barrier, and the task of communicating over the phone gets even more difficult. When you only have a voice to communicate you have to make the very best of your voice by speaking slowly and clearly. Speaking inaudibly is one of the most basic mistakes that telesales agents can make, and a surefire ways to bore the person at the other end of the phone is to mumble your way through a sales call. Don’t expect someone to ask you to repeat yourself, as you might just find they hang up instead!
If you are bored, tired, or in a bad mood, take a break before you make any more calls, because chances are your mood will be infectious over the telephone! If you add in a language or cultural barrier then communication will become frustrating for both listener and caller. You should plan telemarketing phonecalls around your mood, and if you are not in good form, why not take a ten-minute breather? This is sure to rejuvenate you and make your voice more of a pleasure to be heard. What’s more is that it will arm you with the patience needed to communicate over the phone with people who don’t necessarily speak your language fluently.
Smile when speaking
People from all cultures are instinctive creatures and a positive attitude is conveyed very much more loudly than you might think over the phone. Your smile might not be seen but people listening to someone’s voice can easily detect insincerity. So smile when you speak and put your whole heart into the conversation.