Despite rumors to the contrary, the phone is not dead. It’s not even dying. As far as tech toys go, the telephone might not be considered a digital disruptor – it was invented in 1876, after all – but you’re doing yourself, your prospects and your customers a disservice. customers, if you completely ignore it. In fact, up to 92% of all customer interactions are done over the phone. You read correctly. It’s not a typo. However, it is fair to say that the way we use the telephone has changed. It may no longer be the primary acquisition and sales channel – that title usa email address belongs to email and social media – but in terms of retention and maintaining the relationship after the sale, the humble phone call surpasses its weight class.
But what is it exactly? We all want to be heard. How do you feel when you’re talking to someone and they look around the room or look at their phone? At best rude. At worst annoying. Enter active listening. It requires that we listen to understand, remember what was said, and respond appropriately. It requires us to make eye contact, smile, nod, shake our head, and generally mirror the speaker. We listen to understand, we have fully focused, and the speaker can see that we have. On the phone, we don’t have that luxury. But that doesn’t mean you can’t indicate active listening there as well. There’s simply no better way to a) demonstrate that you’re actively listening and b) get clarification on what you’re hearing than to ask open, thoughtful questions. So ask them. Take notes while listening and come back when you have the chance rather than interrupting. Dig deeper with probing questions that clarify and enrich your understanding.
Every customer interaction deserves your full attention. Every conversation is a chance to discover new opportunities to work with them and improve their lives. This results in satisfied customers and a positive world of mouth. So close the door if you have one, or use headphones if not. Stop multitasking. We all have the ability to just “sense” when someone is not paying attention to us, even on the phone. Someone calls you with a problem and they don’t think you’re listening? It’s a missed opportunity, and you know they’ll share that experience w