The Art Of Professional Phone Conversations: How To Impress Clients!
Lots of business conversations still happen over the phone. Whether it’s a smartphone or a landline device, you may be in touch with clients every single day. You could make sales calls, marketing calls, or deal with incoming calls from existing and prospective customers.
Before you even think about your goals from each call, there’s one thing to address: your professionalism.
Do your phone calls sound professional? If not, this can hamper your business reputation and lead to negative outcomes. It’s so easy for a client to hang up if they think you sound unprofessional. It’s also so easy for opinions to form around your company based on phone conversations.
So, how can you impress clients with uber-professional phone conversations? Allow us to explain the art behind this with some tips on sounding more knowledgeable and credible:
Nail a professional tone
As you do when writing, your voice takes on a different tone while speaking. It’s normal to slip into a casual tone of voice when on the phone. Your muscle memory kicks in as this is how you usually act while calling someone. Unfortunately, clients expect a level of professionalism from businesses, so you need to adjust the way you talk.
Keep your tone as professional as possible, without being over the top. The trick is being calm and composed while speaking with an air of authority. You want to sound like you know what you’re talking about. Use professional words when articulating your sentences rather than incorporating slang. It should be assertive without sounding too commanding or rough.
Speak clearly and with confidence
Part of managing a professional tone is speaking with the right cadence. Your tone should be very clear and confident – you don’t want to rush through sentences or talk too slowly. It should all come out naturally but with clear pronunciation of every single word.
This has two benefits when talking to clients:
- They can hear everything you’re saying and understand exactly what you’re talking about
- It makes you look way more authoritative and professional
If you mumble your words and use lots of umms and ahhs then you don’t sound like a professional human being at all. Right away, thoughts are forming in the caller’s mind as they think who is this person?! Why would I do business with them if they can’t even speak clearly?
It’s amazing how much confidence you give clients and prospects by just speaking clearly. It makes them feel like they’re making the right decision in choosing you.
Only speak when you know what to say
You’ll notice a lot of the points in this guide merge with one another. In this case, speaking when you know what to say can help you speak with more confidence. Therefore, your speech is clearer and comes across in a more professional tone.
Still, it’s important to talk about it as too many people don’t do this. You’re inclined to just blurt out what comes into your head – or to blabber on as you stall while thinking of something to say. This makes your calls sound so unprofessional and can be really off-putting for a listener.
Instead, take your time when responding to questions. Listen to the person, consider what they’re saying, and form a response in your head before you speak. It stops situations where your sentences are broken as you’re almost stuttering trying to think of how to respond. There’s nothing wrong with taking a moment before saying what you need to say.
Talk your calls in a private place
Never make a phone call in a car. To be honest, this is good life advice, but it’s even more important when you make business calls. Likewise, don’t even think about making one on public transport or in a busy coffee house.
Why? Because all of these settings are wildly unprofessional and create a terrible call atmosphere. Let’s do a spot of role-play, imagine you are getting a call from a company. You pick up the phone and immediately hear lots of background noise. You can hear the sound of cars driving past, cups clanking on saucers, or loud music playing nearby. What is your immediate response to this? Be honest!
Instantly, you think what the hell is going on? Why is the line so loud? Why does it sound so hectic where this person is? When they start talking about business, your perception of them goes down even further. Why on earth are they making an important business call in the middle of a busy cafe? Do I mean so little to them that they’re cramming me in on their lunch break?
The way I like to think of it is, imagine you’re having a video conference with a client. All of a sudden, you’re in a quiet room with a simple background, trying to look your best. You’d never open your laptop in Starbucks and start a video call with a client! So, why do this when you’re on the phone?
Always take and make your calls in private places. There’s also nothing wrong with picking up the phone and telling the person you’ll call them back when you reach a quieter place. It shows great professionalism and thoughtfulness, which can earn you some extra rep points.
Make your calls over a secure network
Another reason to make calls in quiet places – preferably your office – is because of signal strength. If you’re out and about, your phone drifts in and out of signal ranges. This compromises the quality of the call, which has a profound impact on your professional image.
Again, let’s do some role-play! You call a company, but all you hear is static and a very broken voice on the line. Sometimes it sounds clear, but most of the time you can barely hear anything as the line is so bad. Do you think this business is professional or credible? No, you think they’re a bit cheap and novice.
To avoid people thinking the same of you, make calls over a secure network. The best way to do this is with a business phone system. Loads exist these days, but they use special technology to create much better phone lines. Instead of using dodgy smartphone signals or a landline, all calls are made directly over the internet. It gets rid of any static noise and leaves a very peaceful atmosphere where everything can be heard easily.
Just like that, every single business call you make will sound more proficient and polished! It’s not just the background noise that leaves; your voice sounds clearer and more distinguished too.
Set up a proper business number
Phone conversations aren’t just influenced by what you say or how you sound. Your reputation is on the ropes before someone even picks up your call. How? Because you’re using a personal phone number to make business calls.
It looks unprofessional – and people will notice it. There’s also a lower chance of someone picking up the phone if they see a personal number. You can get a business phone number with ease, immediately looking more authentic. Whenever you call someone, they see a proper business number and know that you must be legit.
As a side note, it’s good to have business phone numbers on your business cards, website, Google Business pages, etc. It adds to your brand image and helps prospects trust you.
In conclusion, professional phone conversations can influence how successful your business is. If you don’t sound professional during phone calls, you could miss out on leads, sales and so much more. Not only that, but your tone of voice and the whole call experience can damage your reputation. Use the ideas above to start speaking with more confidence and making your calls sound super legit.