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Presented by John Cleese, Telephone Behavior explains how people’s behavior can either wreck a telephone conversation or make it into a highly effective piece of communication.

By learning how to master the techniques of professional telephone behavior, all employees at all levels will be able to harness the potential of one of the world’s most powerful and dangerous communication tools.

The telephone is at the heart of business communication. But because people use the phone so much at home, they assume they have the skills to use it at work. This is not the case, and good business telephone skills have to be learned.

In this engaging, amusing and highly memorable story, an assistant manager of a marketing department is preparing to give the local business community a short seminar on professional telephone skills. But her own skills leave a lot to be desired.

Fortunately someone is on hand to show her the mistakes she makes, and help her overcome her shortcomings. The lessons include understanding that the call starts with a verbal handshake – answer the phone within four rings and introduce yourself properly with a smile in your voice.

It shows that preparation is vital - people should have facts and figures to hand and repeat key phrases to show callers they’re understood. During the call people should ask open questions to gain information, and use the caller’s name frequently to establish trust.

When closing the call they must confirm that the message is understood, and make a note of what they are required to do. Finally the video tackles voice mail, showing that the same rules apply, whether someone’s leaving a message on someone else’s machine, or a prompt on their own.

Behaving properly on the telephone is not just an attitude -it’s a skill. And, like all skills, it has to be understood and learned.

Key Learning Points

  • Introduce yourself and establish whether it is convenient to proceed
  • Control the call, ask open questions, record and repeat information
  • Volunteer useful information

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