Is Alexander Bell a forgotten revolutionary-a figment of our imagination? In a world of e-mails and text messaging, having an actual conversation on the phone may seem like a thing of the past. But the reality is phone calls are still very much a large part of doing business.
Any industry that is based on selling a product or service revolves around a ‘sales mentality.’ And how do sales go through? Usually, human-to-human voice contact via a telephone.
Besides those industries where talking on the phone is the main method of doing business, phone etiquette for any professional is of the utmost importance. Here at our office, a majority of the space is commandeered by employees sitting at desks or walking to the break room to grab a quick bagel all with blue tooth equipped in ear. Remember the Stone Age when a person couldn’t fetch a bagel if on the phone? When the phone was attached to a cord which was attached to a brick-like machine attached to a desk?
Besides speaking on the telephone as a means of sales, a person in the working world (or trying to break into the working world) should still be aware of how to compose one’s self on the phone.
In honor of the telephone’s perpetual importance, here are 3 tips you can dial into your inner telephone professional:
- Have a professional voicemail. As soon as you began applying for jobs, be it at age 15 or 20, you should have swapped your “Hey guys it’s *your name* here, I’m obvi. not here right now so do yo’ thang after the beep,” for either a more professional voicemail with just your name and a polite request for the caller to leave a message or a message done by your cell phone company that simply inputs your recoded name at the appropriate time. I recommend the latter.
- Be aware of how you answer the phone. Sometimes when we get a call from an unknown caller we can automatically label the call as a wrong number and hastily answer the phone with a grumbly, “hello.” Waking up from a nap can be another horrific experience at the time of the interrupting call—a valid reason to forget you answering manners. But, you never know who’s calling you, bottom line. Even if your kids are screaming or you just returned from your first workout in months, answer that phone like it’s your favorite thing to do. An employer or potential employer wants an employee with a positive attitude not an angry, wheezing mother.
- Be prepared. This is for those of you who are currently in the ‘job hunt’ phase. If you are trying to land an interview with a handful of companies at a time, know a little bit of information about each employer upon applying. It’s easy to get companies mixed up when one out of the ten is calling you. Be able to distinguish between them so that when one calls you you don’t have to rack through your brain for an awkward two minutes prior to responding to their initial ‘hello,’ “Mr. Jones? Are you still there Mr. Jones?”
Do not fret Alexander Bell, your invention has not been forgotten by society just yet. In the business world it still holds great importance.