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4 Tips to Create the Best First Impression Over The Phone

By Marlene Cosain
We all understand the power of a first impression. Whether someone is forming their opinion based off of an office they walk into or a call over the phone, you only have so much time to make sure your first impression is unforgettable. The goal is to leave people better than you found them. Someone should get off the phone and feel that speaking with you enhanced their mood and was the best decision they could have made. The key here is to give.

Give a Warm Smile

The tone in which you pick up every call matters. A caller should always hear your smile over the phone. Keep your mindset on making someone’s day better just because they spoke with you. A smile and an adaptive tone help accomplish that. Our businesses don't exist without clients. So, as tough as your day might be, try to be grateful that someone chose to call your office and view their call as an opportunity to help them out. As Dolly Parton says, “If you see someone without a smile, give them yours.”

Give Them Your Undivided Attention

One of my favorite quotes by Theodore Roosevelt is,  “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Welcome the caller and sound as if they're all that matters at the moment. If you're a solopreneur, a receptionist, or if you simply manage all incoming calls, you might be rushed to get the caller off the line so you can complete another task. Trust me, they can feel it!

A caller can feel when you’re in a hurry. Who wants to speak to someone that makes them feel like a bother? Your caller should never sense that they are less important than anything else going on in your world.

It’s human nature to care about ourselves and how people make us feel. If the caller’s next call is to your competitor and your competitor makes them feel more important, chances are your first impression might not have helped you win that business. 

Give a Listening Ear

Make your caller feel valued by lending them a listening ear. Callers want to be heard. They want to know that their call matters and that you can help them. Use your active listening skills to listen to their needs. By listening attentively and providing the caller your full attention, you give yourself a better opportunity in understanding the caller and their situation which, allows you to ask great questions and take great notes.

Stephen R. Covey has famously said, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Ask yourself, what the caller seems to need, what’s important to them and how you can add value to them. Don't just wait for your turn to speak. 

Give a Human Connection

With the world’s shift to automation, the most powerful tool you have is the power of human connection. The human voice and human connection are irreplaceable. As Celinne Da Costa said in an interview with Thrive Global, “Human connection is the new premium.”

What really sets a company apart is the ability to connect and empathize with their callers. Put yourself in the caller’s shoes. How would you feel if you were going through their situation? What would you want to hear? What would make or break your experience, or simply brighten your day a little? You'd be surprised how much the slightest thing can change the course of someone's day. The key is acknowledgement and reassurance. Acknowledge your caller’s feelings and reassure your callers that you can see their point of view and that they're in great hands. 

Elevate your first impressions with these helpful tips. Remember, you always make the first impression, but it’s within your power to make it a positive one.

Tags: Tips & Tricks

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