Just over a month ago, I was introduced to Leslie Gallagher with a request to help her pick up the phone. Her ability to own her discomfort and her determination to learn a new skill has been inspiring. She’s agreed to share her experiences with us in a series of posts. Enjoy and share! mj
A ringing office phone makes my heart start to beat a little faster and my throat tighten up. I’m practically allergic.
And when I have be the one who makes the call? Forget it. I’ll spend entire days avoiding picking up the receiver to make a single call.
When I launched my own business, WorkLocal.jobs, in January 2015, I knew there would be plenty of challenges to overcome, but I didn’t think that learning how to talk on the phone would be one of them. Who makes phone calls anymore? Can’t I just text clients to introduce them to my service?
Over the last few weeks I’ve come to realize that the phone is a powerful tool for connecting with people, and a far more efficient way of doing business than email.
There’s much less room for misinterpretation when you have the cues of tone, intonation, and pauses in conversation. Plus it’s easy to pick up on if someone is feeling frazzled, conversational, playful, or having a bad day, and adjust your pitch to them. It then becomes possible to build a real relationship.
I think of it as networking with my voice. I know the etiquette for making business connections in person, and etiquette for building relationships over Twitter or LinkedIn, and now I’m learning how to connect with people over the phone as well. One more tool to set myself apart from the crowd!
Leslie Gallagher is the founder and owner of WorkLocal.jobs, an innovative job board where job seekers apply to positions with recorded Video Interview Messages. Their mission is to keep talent in the region. She can be reached on Twitter @LG_HFX and at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enjoy your PhoneWork everyone!