How to Make a Business Phone Call
The first impression anyone gets from you will be lasting. Your voice on the other end of a telephone line is that first impression. You need to conduct yourself in a professional manner when calling people for business purposes. Expect the same results as you would in an in-office meeting. Here are a few steps to help you along.
Preparing for the Business Call
• Remember that a business telephone call is comprised of three components: the beginning introduction, the middle bulk of the call, and the end summing up.
• Say everything that you need to in order to explain your reason for calling. State when you will return the call or request that the other person call you back. If you have to leave a message, be concise.
• Let the other person know at the beginning of the call if you plan to use a speaker phone or record any part of the conversation.
Making the Business Call
1. Introduce yourself or remind the person you call of your identity at the beginning of the call.
2. Find out if the person you are calling is fully available to talk. If not, try to schedule an appointment for you to call back.
3. Use notes to help guide you through the specifics you want to mention. This may be the only chance you really have to get your point across.
4. Ask the other person to repeat what you are saying in their own words. This is important in ensuring you are both on the same page and understand what the conversation is about.
5. Stick to the subject and do not allow the business conversation to drag out with meaningless chatter
6. Review the important points of the discussion, going over each person's responsibilities.
7. End the call on a pleasant note. Thank the other person for their time, set an appointment for another call (if needed) and wish them a good day. Be sure to set up who will make the call.
Have you ever been stuck in a telephone conversation that won’t end? Some people don’t seem to be able to state their questions clearly and briefly. You have a twofold challenge in this situation: first find out what they want and how you can help, then bring the conversation to a close.
Getting to the point: If the caller is rambling, chances are you can’t tell what the point is. To find out, you might try these questions:
• What can I do to help you?
• As I understand it, Mr. Smith, what you need from me is .... Is that correct?
• What do you believe I can do to resolve this for you?
Once you have agreed to do something, that doesn’t necessarily end matters. Often callers are wound up, and they just keep going over and over the same ground.
Ending the conversation: Depending on how the first part of the conversation has gone, one of the following may work:
• I think John Smith in Marketing is the right person to help you with this. Let me speak to him, and either he or I will call you back on Thursday.
• Let me look into this for you and get back to you this afternoon.
• Our information packet will probably answer all your questions. I will put one in the mail to you today, and if you need clarification please do call me again.
• Well, Margaret, I must go now. I hope you are able to work everything out all right. I’ll talk to you soon.
Obviously, each situation is different and these suggestions can’t be used as “scripts”. However, you’ll find you can adapt them to suit most situations.
Don’t feel you must make an excuse or explain yourself. When you have done what you can to deal with the caller’s needs, you now owe it to yourself to move on to the next item on your schedule.
Remember, your time is just as valuable as anyone else’s.
Tis the season to be jolly? In many cases, the holidays are a time to make merry, to be fun and fanciful, to celebrate. But the holiday office party is NOT a time to let loose. Even though these social settings often involve music, alcohol and casual dress, don't be deceived by the trappings. Office parties are still business functions, and your behavior still needs to be moderate and controlled in order for the office party to be a successful experience.
From a variety of sources and experiences, here are the top eight tips for ensuring a successful experience at the holiday office party.
1. Treat the members of the opposite sex respectfully.Traditionally, the workplace was a male bastion, and office parties with women tended to encourage certain forms of behavior. In an era with more women in the workplace and awareness of sexual harassment issues, the treatment of office party attendees who are not of your gender has become more critical. Jokes and comments that are unacceptable in the workplace are still not acceptable at an office party. And certainly, be cautious of body contact-touching in inappropriate ways at an office party is still inappropriate.
2. Drink in moderation (or not at all).Keep alcohol consumption at a bare minimum. Avoiding it altogether is a safe approach. Coiffing soft drinks or non-alcoholic punch at an office party is an acceptable alternative in an era of recovery. And you will keep your wits about you and avoid behavior that you would never consider when sober. However, if you feel a need to drink in moderation, then eat a little before you arrive at the office party to minimize the effects of the alcohol.
3. Eat carefully. Don’t make a bee line for the food table when you arrive at the office party. Socialize along the way. And avoid salty, greasy or sweet foods as they tend to make you thirsty and thus giving you an excuse to drink. Choose foods rich in starch and protein instead.
4. Dress appropriately. If the party is after hours, verify with the hosts what sort of dress will be appropriate. If the office party is formal, secure formal wear - rent a tux or a gown. If business casual is the style, avoid tee shirts and jeans. And above all, leave the showy or revealing clothing for other social settings; it does not belong at the office party.
5. Arrive on time. Punctuality is important at any office party. You communicate disrespect and disregard for others if you are late. If the party is at a location with which you are not familiar, get directions ahead of time.
6. Remember, the office party is a social occasion. Be certain that you take the opportunity to visit with your coworkers and clients and express appreciation for their efforts at helping you during the year. Especially seek out those who worked with you on important projects during the year. The holidays are a time to feel and express gratitude, not to act petulantly and selfishly. Share your appreciation.
7. Make introductions effective. When introduced to someone (a spouse or an employee you don't know), take the opportunity to look them in the eye, repeat their name, and offer a polite but firm handshake. No bone crushers! In addition, in a setting where you don't know too many people and might have lots of introductions, keep your right hand free-eat with your left.
8. Treat spouses as people. The temptation at office parties is to ignore the spouses of your coworkers or clients. When spouses are involved, treat them respectfully. Ask about their lives and interests. Being ignored as an office spouse makes both the spouse and the coworker feel uncomfortable. Be a little sensitive to their plight-they may know very few people in this setting and feel uncomfortable.
Any behavior at an office party will help distinguish you, whether positively or negatively. Many careers have been ruined by inappropriate behavior at an office party. By following common sense and remembering above all that an office party is a business function, you can ensure that you send the right message and make it a career building rather than a career crippling experience. Office parties can be a whole lot of fun for some and a threatening evening for others. Without reference to which class you belong to, it is important that you be well behaved. Not being at your best behavior during the office party could not just be mortifying but it could even hamper your reputation at work. The following recommendation will aid you make sure that you are at your best behavior at the office party.
Eat before you leave for the party. This will sound strange but it'll actually help you behave well at work party. You definitely do not want to attack food as soon as you reach the party. When your stomach is a little filled, you will be able to focus on other stuff around. It becomes actually tough to be cordial with people and talk to them kindly when all you can think of is food. Besides, you will not gulp down like a monster at the dining table when you're even in some measure full.
When going to an office party, pay attention to the way you dress. There is no denial of the fact that party is an absolutely casual occasion, so you can dress up a little lightly and get away with the all formal clothes. However, this in no way implies that your dress should be like the one you would wear to a nightclub. Make sure that you dress up in a smart demeanour but are also not very high on the trendy front. Keep it simple yet sophisticated. Females should be more careful as they must avoid any kind of provocative dressing. You also needn't go OTT with the glittery and the shimmery accessories.
It is important to understand that office parties help to serve dual benefits for you. On one hand it's the perfect means to enjoy and have fun. On the other hand it can easily help you build on to your network also. You would surely like to hang around with your best chums and comrades at work in the party. You'll get to enjoy the time and have a good time when with your friends. However,in such a case you often miss out on the possibility of knowing and meeting people who too are part of the same organization. You can use this party time as an opportunity to know other people as well who may not be from your dept always. An office party can turn out to be the most effective way to bond and network extensively.
Another important thing you can do to show off your best behavior at the office party is to strike intellectual conversation. Even if you try to keep away from any talks about the work, it is bound to occur. So instead of avoiding such talks it is in your interest to be ready for the start itself. Such talks become very critical if you have to talk to a senior in a party. For this it is very important that you talk about the right things and that too in the right demeanour. After all it's all about making the right impression and taking it further.
Being at the behaviour best at the office party is no difficult thing. You can simply have a blast at the party while being all polite and well-behaved. For this all you have to do is by utilising the given tips and be assured that you will leave a good impression.