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Fewer Words, More Conversation

March 5, 2017
Mary Jane Copps

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happy phone call

The most important outcome of speaking with a prospect – or existing client – is learning more about them. Our ability to serve is directly connected to how much we understand their needs, challenges and goals.

Yet many times we end a phone conversation without learning anything new. Why is that? The most common reason is … we did most of the talking.

How do we prevent ourselves from talking too much? How can we be confident that we’ll be brief and precise?

1. Know the reason for your call. While this may sound obvious, we’ve all received phone calls from people who are only “following up” or “touching base”. Being this vague leads nowhere. When you call someone, be clear about your “why” … to hear their thoughts on your proposal, to get feedback on your workshop, to ask a specific question, and so on. 

2. Write down the reason for your call – and keep it in front of you.  It is the nature of conversation to reveal new thoughts and ideas (exactly why I love them so much) which create unexpected twists and turns that distract us from our original intent. We’ve all ended a phone call only to realize we didn’t get the information we needed.

3. Know that everyone is overwhelmed and that your ability to be brief and precise is a sign of respect.

4. If you become known as a “talker”, people will stop answering or returning your calls. Most of us have someone in our lives we should call more often but don’t because each conversation takes an hour of our time.

5. Record and listen to yourself. Yes, I know this is uncomfortable but it is the best way to know who you are on the phone. We all have “phone personalities”. You can’t improve your communication if you don’t know how you communicate.

6. Ask open-ended questions. This is how we learn more about our prospects and clients – we inspire them to tell us more. And this is how we build strong relationships that grow and sustain our business.

Here’s a quick, very funny story to help you remember that too many words can have dire consequences:  Just Duck!

#InspireConversation

 

What’s The Phone Lady Doing? 

February 28 – Creating Conversation and Closing Sales, Woodscamp, Halifax

 

March 6 – Helping Customers Make Decisions, Javelin Technologies, (Tele-training session)

March 7 – Telephone Talent: Essential Phone Communication Skills, RBC, (Tele-training session)

March  8 – Telephone Talent: Essential Phone Communication Skills, RBC, (Tele-training session)

March 14 – Phone Skills for Job Search and On the Job, Employment Solutions Society, Bridgewater, NS

March 15 – Telephone Talent: Essential Phone Communication Skills, TD Private Wealth Management, (Tele-training session)

March 16 – Essential Phone Skills for Physiotherapy Clinics, live webinar in partnership with CallHero

March 20 – Phone Skills for Startups, PropelICT, Fredericton, NB

March 21 – Phone Skills for Startups, PropelICT, Halifax, NS

March 22- Phone Skills for Job Search & on the Job, Nova Scotia Community Services, Windsor, NS

March 23 – Phone Skills for Startups, PropelICT, Sydney, NS

March 28 –  Phone Skills for Job Search and on the Job, International Student Success Program, Dalhousie University

March 29 – Phone Skills for Job Search and on the Job, Job Junction, Halifax, NS

March 30 – Essential Phone Skills for Physiotherapy Clinics, live webinar in partnership with CallHero

March 30 – Telephone Talent: Essential Phone Communication Skills, Cirrus Insight,  (Tele-training session)

April 12 – Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, CEED, Halifax, NS

April 28 – Phone Skills for Startups, PropelICT, Tele-training Sessions

April 29 – Entrepreneurial Development Conference & Expo, Building Relationships on the Phone, Halifax, NS

May 3 – Improving Telephone Communication, Institute of Professional Management, Halifax, NS

May 9 – Service Excellence – Phone Skills that Build Client Relationships and Loyalty, Assante Hydrostone

May 11 – Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, CBDC Cumberland, Amherst, NS

May 16 – Creating Consistent Revenue, CEED, Halifax, NS

July 11 –  Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, CEED, Halifax, NS

August 21 – Creating Consistent Revenue, CEED, Halifax, NS

October 11 – Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, CEED, Halifax, NS

November 7 – Coaching Your Team to Pick Up the Phone, CCUA, Virtual Conference

November 14 – Creating Consistent Revenue, CEED, Halifax, NS

December 5 – Pick Up the Phone & Build Relationships, CCUA, Virtual Conference

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Paul Roy says:

    Great post Mary Jane. Spot on.

  2. Nicole Osmond says:

    Thanks Mary Jane. Some simple but very helpful advice here. Personally, I’ve been struggling with #4. A friend, who I respect a lot, will leave a message for me and ask me to give them a quick call, but I know it is never going to be a quick call. I struggle with it and often find myself procrastinating to make the call. Thanks for the weekly advice, much appreciated as always.

    • The Phone Lady says:

      I have several of these people in my life and I’m always searching for the right moment to call them. I sometimes line them all up on a Sunday afternoon with a pot of tea nearby. Thanks for sharing, Nicole.

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