18.02.2003 // Business English // by Kate Matyuk

Twelve Telephone Tips

  1. Make sure you have in front of you all the documents you'll need before you dial the number.
  2. The other person may not understand you easily, so try to speak slowly and CLEARLY.
  3. 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.
  4. When you name the abbreviations spell them (except the most famous, for example NATO, which you can say as one word).
  5. The other person can't see what a nice person you are, so make sure you sound POLITE and AGREEABLE.
  6. The other person (and you, by the way) hasn't got all day, so make sure your call is BRIEF.
  7. 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.
  8. Don't rely on your memory: make notes during a call.
  9. Smile while you are talking. Your listener can "hear" your smile.
  10. Don't try to be funny — you may be misunderstood.
  11. Don't interrupt other people: let them finish what they want to say.
  12. Send a follow-up fax or letter to confirm important details (especially prices and numbers).
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