Wondering Out Loud

Train your people to use the phone

As a rule, it is better to give than to receive. However, as with all, there is an exception to this long-standing rule: voicemail.

I love receiving voicemail from people. So much so, that I rarely pick up the phone unless the caller ID is from someone I know. My love of voicemail comes not from an irrational desire to feel needed, rather it is based in my completely rational desire to be entertained – and have I been entertained.  

A couple of years ago we started receiving voicemail in a wav files. Not coincidentally, I started saving the best of the worst for future use. Today I can announce that the future has arrived. I’ll be sharing share some of the voicemail I’ve saved, edited to remove names, companies and phone numbers for your amusement.

My aim is not to embarrass – hence the heavy editing-  but to inform.

As a means of communicating, the telephone is irreplaceable and it is imperative that we learn how to use it properly. Nothing new here, right? The problem is there are far too many people who’ve not been trained to use the phone as a tool for doing business.

I suffered from the same lack of training until 1998. I was working as an account executive for the MNN Radio Networks in the Twin Cities at the time and one of my colleagues had the good fortune of meeting Steve Kloyda (@SteveKloyda), founder of Telemasters. Station management arranged for the entire sales team to take Steve’s 5 week training.

Each week, we met individually with Steve to listen to calls we recorded – voicemail and connections – with prospects and customers. I won’t speak for everyone, but through self critique and with Steve’s coaching I learned to use the phone as a business tool.

I don’t mean endorse Telemasters – although I highly recommend it – but I do want to endorse telephone training for anyone in your business who uses the phone for their work. Keep in mind they are representing your company and the impression they make will last forever. Make sure that impression is positive.

I’m off to the studio to begin editing and commenting on the worst of the worst.

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September 14, 2009 - Posted by | Communications, Marketing, Public Relations | , , ,

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