Note holders’ impressions of us are very important and we should work hard to make sure that FIRST impression is a great one. I have always said that I can get your phone to ring but I can’t be there when you answer the phone. Last month I shared some tips for making a great first impression when Receiving a telephone call and this month in part two I will share with you some tips when Initiating a telephone call.
Initiating the Telephone Call
1. Organize your thoughts before you place your call. It is important that you are concise but thorough with your call. I like to make a short list of important items I want to discuss during the telephone call. In the event I do not actually “connect” with the person I need to, I can quickly summarize a short message based on these notes. Have a pad of paper and a pen handy to take notes.
2. I have written about this before and when speaking on the telephone try to SMILE. When we smile and change our facial expressions, it affects the sound of our voice. Our vocal tone can be greatly affected by the manner we use our facial muscles. One of the oldest telephone sales tricks is to have a mirror near the telephone so you can monitor your facial expressions and to be sure you are smiling. Several studies have indicated that as much as 87% of the opinions people form about us when speaking to us on the telephone are based on the tone of our voice. Only 13% is based on the actual words we use. We all do this. People can “hear” our personality and mannerisms through the tone of our voice.
3. Should the person you are trying to contact ACTUALLY answer the telephone (I know this can throw some of you off when they do), after shortly introducing who you are, begin by asking them, “Is this a good time to talk?” You may have called while they were in the middle of something and will appreciate your consideration. If they are, ask them when the best time would be to call them back. Remember to be sure and call them back at the correct time.
4. If you are trying to reach a note holder sometimes it helps to call after usual working hours and maybe even on Saturdays. You are more likely to get the note holder to answer the telephone after normal business hours since they will be more available (not at work or out). Should another person or child answer the telephone, be kind and courteous as you always should be with them. They may be working there too and a kind voice will be noticed.
5. Do not speak too fast! Slow down when you are leaving a message, especially if you have an accent. I receive many messages where I cannot even understand what the person is saying. Even worse, I cannot write fast enough and I find myself replaying the message several times to clearly hear the entire message.
6. Pronounce your name clearly. Announce your name slowly and clearly, especially if your name is not a common name. Spell your name slowly if necessary. Allow people to get the correct spelling of your name.
7. Slow down when saying your telephone number – This is the biggest complaint I personally have when people leave their telephone number. People state their telephone numbers TOO FAST! Say the numbers slowly and place a “pause” somewhere in the sequence of providing your number. People will appreciate this, especially me! Repeat the telephone number at the end of your message so they will not have to play back the message.
8. Give your company name, your title & why you are calling. Describe to the person, in a few short sentences who you are, which company you are with and why you are calling. If you are requesting information, leave a detailed but brief message.
9. Let them know when to call you back. Leave a date, time, and preferred telephone number for people. They can’t return your telephone call if you don’t leave your telephone number. Providing them with the preferred time to call back makes it much easier for them.
10. Always sound professional. Remember what I indicated in part one of this article last month. People DO judge you by the tone of your voice and what you say. If you come across sounding unprofessional in your message, they may not return your telephone call. Also, do not leave very long-winded messages or they will stop listening.
I hope this two-part article on making a great first impression helps improve your telephone communication skills when on the phone with note holders and others as well. Remember success demands action, keep on marketing, it’s going to work! TWITA! (That’s What I’m Talkin’ About!)
Jeff Armstrong of Armstrong Capital has been a note investor and broker specializing in the performing seller financed note industry since 1991. For more updated and current information on how he can help you with your note business, your note investments or to request a quote on a note you currently have visit www.armstrongcapital.com to email him and subscribe to his weekly Note-Able Newsletter.