18.02.2003 // Business English // by Kate Matyuk
Twelve Telephone Tips
- Make sure you have in front of you all the documents you'll need before you dial the number.
- The other person may not understand you easily, so try to speak slowly and CLEARLY.
- The other person can't see your reaction, so always CONFIRM that you have (or haven't) understood each point that's been made. Don't pretend you have understood when you haven't.
- When you name the abbreviations spell them (except the most famous, for example NATO, which you can say as one word).
- The other person can't see what a nice person you are, so make sure you sound POLITE and AGREEABLE.
- The other person (and you, by the way) hasn't got all day, so make sure your call is BRIEF.
- The other person is getting an impression of your firm while talking to you, so make sure you sound EFFICIENT — your firm's image may be at stake, even if you're just taking a message.
- Don't rely on your memory: make notes during a call.
- Smile while you are talking. Your listener can "hear" your smile.
- Don't try to be funny — you may be misunderstood.
- Don't interrupt other people: let them finish what they want to say.
- Send a follow-up fax or letter to confirm important details (especially prices and numbers).