Even if you handle most of your client communications via email or other digital methods (such as social media), you likely have to speak to clients on the phone at least occasionally. And it’s in your best interest to make sure that you have great phone calls with clients…phone calls that don’t consist of two people trying to talk over each other, awkward pauses, or incoherent mumbling.
With that in mind, I’ve come up with some tips that will help you communicate more effectively with clients on the phone.
- Stop saying “umm..”—You probably don’t even realize how many times in a typical conversation you say things like “umm…,” “uh…,” “you know…,” and “like…” When you say these things, it makes you sound unprofessional, unsure, and unreliable. You have to cut these weaknesses from your verbal communications.
- Be a good listener—Too many times, people on the phone are just waiting for their chance to speak. They’re not even listening to what the other person is saying, but rather, they’re thinking about what they’re about to say. You have to be a good listener if you want to have a good phone conversation.
- Avoid speaking at the same time—There’s nothing more annoying than when someone on the other end of the phone is interrupting you and trying to speak over you. It makes it impossible to hear anything. If the client starts speaking at the same time you start speaking, pause and let them go ahead.
- Take notes—If you don’t take notes during your phone call, you’ll likely forget at least some of the details of the conversation. This means that the whole conversation will have been a waste of time, and you’ll have to talk about the same things over again.
- Sound interested—Tone of voice is incredibly important on phone calls because the person on the other end of the phone has no visual clues to go by. So, if you don’t sound interested in the conversation, they’re going to take it as a sign of disrespect. This can be especially tough if you’re multitasking while on the phone or just tired from a long, boring call. You have to project your enthusiasm and interest.
Any tips you’d add to this list? Leave a comment below.