1. Take A Deep Breath
Use this in two different ways:
- As the phone is ringing, take a deep breath and let it out to clear your head and be ready when a human (or their voicemail) answers.
- When someone finishes talking or asks you a question, use the breath to become comfortable with pausing before you talk to train yourself to be comfortable with a moment or three of silence.
2. Stand Up
If you are having trouble paying attention FULLY to the person speaking, change your physical position.
- The reason we suggest standing up is to remove your fingers from the keyboard!
Your ability to be computer distracted then decreases.
NOTE: I also know someone who slides his chair back from his desk just a bit and puts his head DOWN with his eyes closed to cut down on distractions while he is on customer calls (yes Chris I’m talking about you!).
3. Turn It Off
or the evils of auto-notifications!
If you have any of those lovely computer notifications that ghost in and out as things happen – you’re attention is bound to wander.
Sometimes without conscious thought you will c-l-i-c-k onto it… begin reading… and *sigh* we’re back to “I’m sorry what?”
Suggestion = turn off auto-notification, even better give yourself an email break turning OFF your email program while you make outbound calls
We heard you gasp from here – start slowly 30 minutes, then turn it back on and respond to everything (yes now it is an hour later….) turn it back off and dial again! Lather, rinse, repeat throughout the day.
I don’t know about you, but if my customers need an answer RIGHT NOW – they’ll call. If you’ve trained them that you will instant respond – you will have to retrain them of course!
I just read a great book (and it is a quick read.. but not so easy to implement) The Myth of Multitasking by Dave Crenshaw. In “The Expectations” chapter there is an example “I do check my messages frequently, usually at 10:00 am, 2:00 pm, and 4:00 pm” NOW pick yourself up off the floor – that was an example NOT suggestion!
Think instead about our telesales world: it wouldn’t be out of line to say “at the top of the hour” would it? Or something else that makes sense in your business?
Try it for a week – in fact what a great listening conversation to have with your best customers…. To serve you better I’m going to try something new – what do you think about ___________?
Let me know what you find out.
Listen twice before you speak once.
~ Scottish Proverb