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I Can’t Believe People Don’t Know How To Use the Telephone


Robby

It’s a shock to me. The telephone was invented in 1876 and here we are a couple of centuries later, and people still don’t know how to use the phone properly. If you’re sure that you couldn’t possibly be part of the problem, well, you need to keep reading.

Let’s start with calling people on the phone. When should you pick up the phone and call someone at random?

That’s easy. Pretty much almost never.

Why is that? Because a phone call is interrupting someone’s day and it is insisting that they should stop whatever they are doing and talk to you. So, you probably shouldn’t be calling them—at least not at random.

Rotary Phone
© Flickr User Nate Steiner

So when should you call people on the phone? Here are the three reasons:

1. You have a truly urgent need. Once in a while, we need to talk to a person right now to get an answer right away. The rest of the time, you can send an email.

2. You’re making a personal touch. This is when we have no particular reason to call someone except to be friendly. For example: it’s great to call people on their birthday or because they are a friend and you are thinking of them and want to catch up.

3. The call was scheduled. This is a meeting, except on the telephone. You’re calling at the scheduled time.

If it’s not one of the three reasons, you’d better start the call by saying who you are and asking “do you have a minute to speak with me, or would it be better to chat at another time?” (Because assuming that they are available is rude.)

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, allow me to explain how to answer the call.

“Hello, this is Robby Slaughter.”

That’s it. But too many people answer with not quite enough. “Hullo” is no way to answer a phone.

Now that you know, spread the message. But don’t do it by phone. That would be rude.

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About the Blogger: Robby Slaughter is a productivity speaker and expert. He is a principal with a AccelaWork, an Indianapolis consulting firm.

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Tue, October 20 2015 » Technology Tips

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