Have you ever been placed on hold calling a business?
Of course you have!
When it happens to me, it usually goes something like this…
Business: Please hold.
Me: UhhBusiness: ……click….music…..
Or, maybe they are more polite…
Business: Will you hold please?
Me: Uhh ….yes.
Sometimes the “click” occurs prior to me stumbling through an answer. WOW!
It kind of makes me wonder what would have happened had I said NO.
Companies today are working harder than ever to “stand out” to their audience of potential clients. They do whatever they can to generate interest in their products and services: They create White Papers, have an online presence, advertise wherever they feel their audience is and ……then a prospect calls to do business.
Many businesses don’t practice good conversational skills and basic manners.
Here are basic rules everyone in business should practice
1. Always greet someone when they call or visit. Depending on your level of formality of your business and the client, you can adjust the greeting. But, you should always say, “hello” or “hi” when someone visits so that the client feels welcome visiting or calls.
2. Say, “Please” and “Thank you” generously! There is no such thing as saying it too much. Showing these manners shows the other person respect and appreciation.
3. If a person says thank you, you should acknowledge them with a “You’re welcome” or “Anytime!”. This tells the person that they are welcome to come to you again with a request. It is a kind way to say that you invite their correspondence.
“Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand.” – Anonymous
4. Wait your Turn! Don’t interrupt other people when they are speaking. Never assume you know what the person is trying to say. Oftentimes the act of speaking and being heard is all a client wants. Be sure and give your full attention and really HEAR what they are saying without assumptions or prejudice. Oftentimes, conversational acknowledgments such as: “Uh-Huh”, “Yes”, “Oh”, “I see” tell the other person you really hear them.
“So when you are listening to somebody, completely, attentively, then you are listening not only to the words, but also to the feeling of what is being conveyed, to the whole of it, not part of it.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti
5. Clean up after yourself. No matter who is to blame in a conflict or complaint, be pleasant and gracious. If your client is found to be to blame, don’t gloat or show off, but be kind . If you or your business is to blame don’t sulk or get mad, but be gracious and sincerely apologize.
“If you want the last word, apologize.”
6. Take compliments courteously. If someone praises your business, be gracious and say, “thank you”, and invite further communication.