Angry businessman on mobile phoneHe probably isn't in a buying mood . . .


It’s hard to imagine doing business without a phone, but beware – think before you call a client, or it could cost you business.


Unless you’re the one in a thousand who actually likes getting sales phone calls, you’ll understand how your customers will feel if you interrupt them to follow up a lead or to pitch a never-to-be-repeated special offer.


Consider your customer’s situation before you dial. It'll earn you brownie points in the long run.


Here are some simple phone etiquette tips:

  1. Only call customers when a less intrusive communication method (eg. text message or email) won’t do the job as effectively.
  2. If your customer has an office landline phone, call that number first. It gives the receptionist an opportunity to check with your customer if it’s convenient to talk.
  3. Keep calls short, especially to mobile phones. Long-winded calls drain mobile phone batteries quickly, and even if your customer has time for idle chatter you certainly don’t! When a call has outlasted its usefulness, apologise with a ‘third party’ excuse, such as “Sorry, but I have to take another call" or "Sorry, but I have a pile of work to finish before I go home”.
  4. If your customer doesn’t have an office landline phone, or is out of the office, first send a text message asking if it’s convenient to call.
  5. If you must call someone’s mobile phone urgently, ask whether it's convenient to talk now or if you should call back later.
  6. When you’re in meetings, switch your phone to ‘silent’ or divert it. If you forget to do this, and your phone rings, tell the caller politely but firmly that you’re in a meeting and you’ll call back as soon as it’s finished.

Of course, it's a different matter when you’re the customer. Feel free to call your suppliers’ mobile phones whenever you like!


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