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Improving Communication in Difficult Circumstances

The question below cites time delays but there are many other ways telephone communication can be difficult. Sore throats and colds, surprise visitors to your office, calling into a marketplace where your accent is unfamiliar, and the sounds of infants or children in the background are all disruptive. In my own office, I have a fax machine that produces a loud beep when it’s receiving. The best way I’ve found to deal with these things is mentioning the potential difficulty as soon as possible. For example: “I want to let you know that I often experience time delays on my phone equipment. I apologize and hope it doesn’t disrupt our conversation.” Or “I know my accent can be difficult for some people. Please don’t hesitate to tell me to speak slower or repeat myself if that’s what you need.” Or “My fax machine is about to make a loud noise in the background. I apologize!” What this does is a) shows your client/potential client that you are straightforward, able to take charge and accept responsibility; b) eliminates the stress associated with pretending the difficult circumstance isn’t there; c) eliminates the need for your client/potential client to raise the issue with you; and d) puts you both in a position where you can overcome the difficulty together. In the case of the time delay, you’ll end up working as a team to find the correct rhythm for your conversation – and probably end up laughing about it along the way!

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What's The Phone Lady doing?

  • Analyzing email and chat conversations with customers and prospects to improve messaging and calls to action
  • One-on-one sales coaching with business owners
  • One-on-one business development coaching with national franchise
  • One-on-one coaching with office manager/receptionist
  • Sales training with group of entrepreneurs
  • Sales training with group of business advisors
  • Sales training with group of business financiers
  • Sales training with technology sales team

Do you or your team want to improve your phone skills? Do you have a phone communication question or challenge you'd like to discuss? I'd be pleased to connect with you to see if I can help. This quick-to-fill-out form is easy to use and you'll hear from me very soon.