Dialed In: Using the Proper Phone Etiquette

22 Sep

Etiquette for telephone and cell phone use might seem like something obvious. However, you’d be surprised at how often people make mistakes. Here are a few tips to come across well even when someone can’t see you.

Cut out background noise

People speaking in the background can be incredibly distracting. If you are in a phone interview or a conference call, you don’t want the person on the other end focusing on what’s happening around you. They want to hear what you have to say, so turn off the latest Lady Gaga song, close the door, and ask everybody else around you to be quiet.

Be prepared

If you know a client is going to call you at a certain time, take 15 to 20 beforehand to gather information on whatever you plan to discuss. When you’re asked a tough question, you can respond quicker and more confidently. For a phone interview, it’s as easy as looking over the job description a few times before the call and keeping it in front of you while talking. Little steps like these help you sound intelligent and interested rather than disorganized.

Stay focused

Nothing screams, “I don’t care about what you have to say,” like cutting off someone who was speaking and then talking to someone else in the background. If you need to take a moment, put the phone on hold. Otherwise, stay on track with the caller, as people don’t need to feel like you’re wasting their time. They want you talking to them, not to the people around you.

Talking on the phone is not a difficult thing to do, but it’s pretty easy to offend people if you do it wrong. Don’t let anything get in your way; cut out the background noise, be prepared, and stay focused.

For more information on phone call etiquette, check out some of these links:
http://www.salary.com/Articles/ArticleDetail.asp?part=par223
http://www.salary.com/Articles/ArticleDetail.asp?part=par222
http://thinkup.waldenu.edu/career-development/professional-development/item/11468-business-phone-etiquette-guide

by Brett Goldberg

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One Response to “Dialed In: Using the Proper Phone Etiquette”

  1. Natalia Ortega September 23, 2011 at 4:09 pm #

    Very true, I was skype calling my boss yesterday and failed to find a quiet enough spot in the Bschool. Ended up having a couple people make cameos in my screen since they didn’t realize it was a meeting sort of situation. Newbie mistake.

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