First Impressions Are Nine-Tenths of Reality
When you meet someone face-to-face, your appearance will determine the impression you make. Many people appear confident on the telephone because they don't have to worry about the visual image they are presenting. However, there are advantages and disadvantages to communicating via the telephone because while certain characteristics are disclosed others remain invisible. This is why it's important to present as complete a picture of yourself as possible when working on the telephone.
First impressions are difficult to achieve when only our audible senses are at work. You communicate at about 40% of your ability when on the telephone because your facial expressions and gesticulations cannot be seen. Yet, there are many characteristics that do come across. To effectively create a good first impression on the telephone, you need to be aware of these characteristics.
People do form an opinion of you based on the way you present yourself on the telephone. Though you appreciate the anonymity this medium presents, you still must be aware of the image you are presenting. I have asked clients and workshop participants to identify characteristics they feel help make a good impression when meeting someone face-to-face. It's no surprise that appearance and attitude are among the first on the list.
Responses include the following characteristics:
Based on the list of face-to-face characteristics, use the exercise below to compare how they impact your ability to make a good first impression over the telephone.
Check the characteristic you feel helps to make
a good first impression over the telephone:
Any surprises? Are you amazed that nearly all face-to-face characteristics are transferable to basic telephone communication? They're transferable because the majority of these characteristics are related to your attitude.
Remember, if communicating over the telephone, your customers can't see your smile or how well-dressed you are. They can't make eye contact with you or exchange a nice, firm handshake. So if you want to make a good first impression over the telephone, you must learn to display these characteristics in your voice.
Which of the above characteristics would help you improve your telephone communication skills?
Note: Excerpted from Beyond "Hello" A Practical Guide For Excellent Telephone Communication and Quality Customer Service. The First Impressions Quiz provides an overview of the practical applications you will find throughout this book. Each chapter is filled with useful tips, tools, exercises and examples you can use to improve your telephone personality. Learn more at http://phoneskills.com/beyond.asp
Extend a pleasant
greeting and make
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