Time being a precious factor in our day to day lives, we often overlook the fact that it sometimes gets impossible to get off the phone calls. Be it a hyper curious friend or close relative or interested prospective partner or school friend wishing to know about your career, everyone seems to have a little to say and a lot to ask. Your time is precious and you need to master the art of knowing how to tackle your time. That doesn’t mean you need to be rude in your approach or show a stern voice, it’s only that you need to be a little aggressive to reclaim your time. Get to know the basics of keeping your calls short and saving your precious time.
1. Do some background work:
In case of making calls to new business groups or wanting to establish a connection, it’s advisable to gather beforehand information on the subject you are going to deal with. It’s more of saying to do your homework. This is very essential to save more time on getting to tell or enquire more on the subject rather than dealing it on the phone. As the information is widely available on the net or books, then do spend some time to gather information.
2. Get to know:
While making a call you may need to be encountering different sets of people. Hence, get to know whom you are going to converse with and their positions. Better ask to be redirected to the right person to make your connections quick and easy. Sometimes, you would be repeating your details unnecessarily. So it is wise to ask to whom you are talking to and then make your enquiry. Or if you’re called upon, make sure you know whom you are talking to.
3. Make notes:
Before making call for a new enquiry or getting to establish a new connection, make notes of the points that you are going to say or ask. Write down the points you are wanting to ask and the key points that you need to know. It’s always preferable to write them as bullet points. This will make it easier for you to refer back anytime while on the call. Also it will help in sketching out the plan for any possible meetings.
While starting a call with a new person it is better to introduce oneself and make it quick. If you are not sure how to start about yourself, as said in the previous note, write it down to make it easier for yourself to bring out the matter quick. You must be aware that no one is ready to listen to a long story about you. Hence, making introduction itself is vital for one to know what sort of personality and how you intend to proceed with the matter.
5. Get to the point:
Many a times it is observed that when talking with friends or known acquaintances, people often do not go straight to the topic or subject that they intend to know. Instead they talk about how they are coping with life, about their families, their jobs etc. After taking more than 15 minutes of their time, then they open the subject they intend to ask. What happens in due course of time is that the listener on the other end would get frustrated as they have already spent more time on call wherein they would have completed their important chores. So, it is imperative to make your query quick and easy for the listener to know what your intention was. If you are not sure then take help of your notes which you have prepared.
6. Could use banter:
People who listen or speak belong to categories who either use banter or might not. If you prefer to banter depending on the listener then it’s no harm in going towards a friendly one. But it needs to be short which is also depending on the listener. How do you know this? It’s simple. If you are speaking to someone you really know and are more comfortable with and who is not rushing to do something, then open up with them and you could allocate up to around 10 or 15 minutes. But, if you are speaking to someone who is just an acquaintance, then you need to shorten to 3 to 4 minutes. Lastly if you are going to speak a person for the first time, then you need to allocate just 1 -2 minutes.
7. Don’t get undisciplined:
Sometimes, you may have called up and within a few minutes found out that this person is chatty. You want to know how it can be controlled. It’s very tricky on how to discipline them. Don’t let the other side to carry you away. As you presumably have less time, it is vital to shorten their talk time and not allow them to continue too long. You might have called for a reason and allowing chatty talk will eat away your precious time.
8. Express why you called:
Once the introduction is over, it is wise to go the next step of explaining the reason of your call. As there could be specific reason for your call, the sooner it is told the better. Just start off, saying directly to the point just after introduction. Better to explain the subject in the initial part of the conversation to make things clear. You will be able to get more than what you require if you make the right approach. Having declared at the start of the conversation as to why you have called, will make the information flow better without any hesitation.
9. Know what you ask for:
When you have decided to ask for some details, then stick to the topic. Make it a session wherein it will be easier for them to achieve. Also it is advisable not to ask a lot of questions at one time. You wouldn’t be getting even one answer. Also avoid asking for ‘big’ favours from people who are not close with you. Asking also needs to be done appropriately as this might not be the last time. You could be having long term relationship with them as well depending on the way you approach them.
10. Stick to time:
Keeping in mind the real need for maintaining relationships, you would need to stick to the time frame while at calls or conferences or discussions. In other words it shows that you respect their time. Time being an essential part of everyone’s life, sticking to a specified time is sure to bring in more results. You have to adhere to it so that in future they would be ready to converse with you as you are known to make your conversations quick.
11. Get feedback:
Getting feedback in between your conversation is critical to keep them on track. As time is essential factor, bear in mind that feedback is also required to know that the person on the other side of the call is with you. Hence, don’t keep on speaking without getting feedbacks on your talks or conversations. By talking all by yourself will only bore them and probably they might not be attending to your call. They might be fiddling with their mobiles phones or tapping on the keyboards without paying attention to your talk. Hence, always get feedbacks on your talks or else they would tune out.
12. Asking questions:
Want to know how to initiate a conversation? Just need to ask a few questions. You can observe how and where the conversation will take you. But you need to be careful not to overdo it or tampering with their prestige. This has to be during the initial phase of the call. Also, the questions needs to polite and relevant to the topic or subject.
Most of the time people do love to send emails to send in their messages. Such people believe that they are not very good in conversing. But the answers to their needs cannot be immediately got. So making calls is a very productive one but it is not easy and it is sure to bring relationships closer. It’s like talking to the person face to face. Being precise and to the point actually allows one to share a lot of information.
The essence of phone calls is an art in itself and it helps one to be served well when you need them most. Some of the basic tips described does require patience in practising them. It will ultimately be one of the ways of getting ideas.