Most of us draw mental portraits of our customers or prospects on the telephone, often establishing long-term working relationships without ever meeting face-to-face. When we finally do meet, we're usually surprised their image doesn't match the portrait we painted of them. It seems we're quick to visualize the person on the other end of the telephone, never realizing they're visualizing us as well.
It's important to remember that telephone communication doesn't offer the benefit of a friendly, firm handshake; smiles can't be seen; body language can't be read; and facial expressions can offer no clues. What you visualize depends upon what you hear. As a result, good telephone skills are necessary to paint a positive self-portrait for every customer.
How do your customers see you? Do you demonstrate characteristics that create an image your customers will remember with pleasure? Do you project professionalism? Are you understandable? Do you give the impression you'll go the extra mile for every customer? Have you thought about how your physical postures, voice inflection, courteousness, vocal tone and rate of speech may influence the portrait you paint of yourself for the customer?
Using the word PICTURE, consider how the following characteristics can work to help you create a self-portrait everyone will remember with pleasure and won't be surprised to see:
The telephone is your #1 business communication tool. The most memorable gift you can give your customers is a positive first impression. Keep in mind that first impressions create lasting memories, whether they're positive of negative.
About the Author:
Jeannie Davis is president of Now Hear This., a Colorado-based communications company specializing in professional telephone skills, workshops, seminars and keynote presentations.