- Know the purpose of your call before you pick up the phone. You may be calling for a follow up to see how satisfied your customer was with your product or service. You still need to know specifics of what you will be asking. This is the time to ask if you can add them to your newsletter or if they follow you on Facebook.
- This is not easy but if the caller starts directing you down a non-business rabbit trail, politely take back the conversation. Let them know a reason you need to get off the phone. Could be you are in the middle of a project, you have a customer coming in or you have another call to prepare for. Remember ye who asks the questions controls the conversation. Another quick fix is “Is there anything else we need to cover before we wrap up this conversation?”
- For the customer who tends to want to share their life story with you after you are finished, you must learn to cut it off. The longer you listen and try to be nice the more that gives them permission to do this every time you chat. You can use the same reasons to get off as in the previous one like: I’m in the middle of a project, you have a customer coming in or you have another call to prepare for with long winded people, offer to summarize the key points of the call in an email and get off the phone.
- Set a timer to keep you on track. Try 3 to 5 minutes to complete a call. If you need more time adjust. Make sure you are covering everything you need to but not allowing others to control your time. Stay in control and be more productive.