How To Save Time When Dealing With Phone Calls
While talking on the phone with clients can be important, it can also waste your time if you don’t know how to keep it under control. Being able to properly handle phone calls will allow you to spend more time focusing on things which are important.
While many business people will hire secretaries to help them deal with incoming phone calls, there are other things you can do to limit the amount of time you spend talking with people over the phone. To be professional, you will want to start each call by mentioning the name of your business and asking what you can do to assist the caller.
This may not be necessary if you have a secretary, as they should have already done this. When the person tells you what they are calling about, the next thing you will want to do is prioritize the call. Decide if it should be dealt with now or later. If it is a simple question that involves your office hours or services, these can be answered quickly. However, you may get questions which require you to go into more details. If you are doing something that is extremely important, you will want to politely tell the caller that you are handling an urgent issue, and will need to call them back. Ask them for their number and the best time to return their call.
By doing this, you will politely end the call quickly without damaging your relationship with a potential client. Under no circumstances should you ever give a potential client the impression that you are too busy to talk to them. This will make them feel insignificant, and they may take their business to your competitor. By quickly explaining the situation before getting their number, they will understand that you are in the middle of something that is important. The next technique you will want to use is called summarizing. It is always important to make sure the call stays on topic.
For example, if you are the owner of a business that sells snowboarding equipment, you may receive calls from people who will get off track telling you about the last snowboarding trip they took. If this starts to happen, you can politely respond by saying something like "so it sounds as if you are interested in……" and then get back to the main reason for them calling. By doing this, you will keep them on the subject of the call. When you are having a conversation with someone, it is difficult to get off topic if they continue bringing you back to the main purpose of the conversation.
The next time management technique you will want to use is called ending the phone call with a summary. While this may take a bit of time, it will stop you from making mistakes. In addition to ths, you won’t need to double check what the client wants, and this will save you time as well. If you are wrong, the client will correct you, and this will allow you to get the correct information and end the call quickly. Another thing you will want to do when you take calls is to keep a notepad handy. This will allow you to write down important details as you have the conversation with the person you are talking to. If you are working at home, you will want to have a business line in addition to your home phone. It could be unprofessional if your children answer the incoming calls of a potential client.
As an alternative to the phone, you may want to use your email address as well. Not only is it faster, but it can also be cheaper, especially if the people who are calling you are paying long distance charges. When you design your business cards, make sure your email address than easily be seen. In addition to this, you will also want to have a fax machine and voice mail if possible. While you will want to use some machines for processing phone calls, it is best to avoid automated systems, as it annoys people and can cost you potential customers. While automated systems are somewhat understandable for larger enterprises, small busineses should always have a real person pick up the phone.