I have. Out of a recent conversation about a phone interview gone wrong, it is obvious everyone knowing the basics of telephone etiquette is a misconception. Most of these tips I am sure you have heard before, but here are a few in case you have forgotten.
– When on the phone, smile. Callers on the other end will hear it in your voice and will most likely be more pleasant in response.
– Identify yourself. When initiating a phone call of which the recipient is not familiar with you, make sure you clearly identify yourself, what company you work for and why you are calling.
– Actively listen. Pretend you are face to face with the person on the other end. Become engaged in the conversation and ask questions if you are unsure of the answer.
– Practice makes (almost) perfect. It sometimes is easier to role play the phone call before you actually make it. Practicing may help avoid some stumbling blocks you weren’t initially aware of.
– Open communication lines. If you have a voicemail, check it often enough that it remains empty. This will avoid callers receiving a “mailbox is full” message when trying to get in touch with you.
– The wind tunnel curse. We’ve all either been there or been on the other end. If it is windy outside and you are trying to talk on your cell phone, It is highly unlikely the person on the other end of the phone will be able to understand anything you say. Please wait until you are indoors to make a phone call.
– Common courtesy. It is true – “Please” and “thank you” go a long way.
– Umm… you know? Take note of sentence fillers you may say without realizing and make an effort to avoid them.
– Snacking prohibited. Make an effort to avoid eating or drinking while on the phone. The person on the other end will thank you.
– Always return your phone calls. “It is the right thing to do,” as my Mom (and yours) would say.
Try to keep these in mind the next time you are on the phone… after all, anytime you are on the phone you are marketing yourself. Go ahead, give yourself something to brag about.