10 Rules for a Successful Business Call

Are you one of many who are put off by hearing the phrase “cold calling”? No matter whether you are ...

Are you one of many who are put off by hearing the phrase “cold calling”? No matter whether you are calling someone for private or business. Learn the formal and informal expressions for successful business calls. Start and end the call with business English idioms.
 
Business calls: Voice and mood are more important than words. Learn how to improve your communication skills on the phone. 
Many people in business look at the telephone as an anchor--that's how they feel about lifting it when they have to make outgoing calls to potential clients. 

10 Rules for a Successful Business Call
Phone calls are a simple part of everyday business life: just pick up the telephone, dial a number, and talk. And the good thing is: your conversation partner can't see you, so you can do other things like responding to emails or cleaning up your desk during the phone call. After all only your words are important, right?

Wrong! According to telephone trainers, how we are perceived depends mainly on non-verbal communication. Words only count for 20 percent of what we communicate. The success of a phone call depends on the remaining 80 percent.

A good start is everything

The start of a phone call is especially important because a good first impression creates the right atmosphere. The called party immediately gets a positive picture of the person they are talking to. Therefore the greeting should be short and pleasant. The caller does not want to wait too long until they finally have the opportunity to say something. What is even more important is to call the dialogue partner by their name. Let them know that his issues are important to you. This is the basis of a pleasant atmosphere and a successful conversation - not only on the phone.

Listen to what the called party wants to say

Listen carefully and actively to your phone partner. Let them finish speaking and take notes if there are any questions arising. Concrete formulations ("I'll personally take charge of that") underline your efforts and express your competency. Avoid phrases like "maybe" or "possibly" because they communicate insecurity.

Your most important communication device - your voice  

Your voice is very important as it transfers your emotions. You can support the effect of your voice by using the correct body language. An uprightly position of your back, a smile as well as gestures can be very supportive - even though your dialogue partner cannot see you.
Before you pick up the handset make sure you have a clear intention. What is the purpose of your call? Do you want to make an appointment or close a negotiation? Are there any facts you need to know before you make the call (names, deadlines, numbers)?

Here are some additional tips and tricks:
  1. Don't pick up the phone before the phone has rung at least two or three times.
  2. Never tell a caller you are not able to help him. You always can - at least by forwarding him to the appropriate department.
  3. Present solutions ("We do not have bulk packs but I can offer you two small ones").
  4. Avoid personal judgments ("Unfortunately Mr. Meier is not in the office today").
  5. Look for a quiet environment, shut doors and windows.
  6. Choose a positive wording.
  7. If a secretary picks up the phone, be polite.
  8. Keep paper and a pencil ready to take notes if necessary.
  9. Summarize things you agreed on at the end of the phone call and ask your dialogue partner if there are still things unclear.
  10. Close the call with the expression of your gratitude.

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