Phone Interviewing TIPs

By Ron S. La Vine, MBA

In addition to online searching, the telephone has become an important tool to acquire information or engage in the process of adding new clients to our expand our practices. Calling successfully can often require one to navigate through the labyrinth of people to find the correct individual(s) who can provide the information we sought. Whether it is research information required or being able to determine who has the ability to hire us, We this in mind, this article provides a quick summary of some excellent techniques for achieving your objective when on the telephone. Whether it is to acquire information or locate specific decision makers, these tips may prove to be useful as the telephone becomes a regular part of our information broker tool kit.

    • Before placing a call, have a clear, specific objective of what you are trying to achieve. Know the purpose of your call in advance.

 

    • To stay on track and meet your objective, prepare a list of questions, requiring answers, prior to your call.

 

    • Calling into multiple departments in a company or organization can not only provide the information or person sought, but also a give unique overview of how a company-s internal processes work. This can be useful information if further calls are required to the same or similar companies. Human Resources, Purchasing, Investor Relations or the President-s office are all good examples of places to begin the initial foray.

 

    • By starting at the top of an organization such as the President-s office, either the President or their assistant will know the correct source of information or the individual who can provide what is needed to meet the objective. As these individuals are usually very busy, having a short concise statement prepared such as “who is responsible for…” enables a quick answer to be provided.

 

    • When being referred from a higher level person (such as the President or their office) to a lower level person, use the higher person-s name or office to lend credibility and importance to the request. For example: “Mr. Smith-s office referred me to you regarding <the nature of the call>.”

 

    • After briefly introducing yourself and your company, ask for permission to speak, before explaining the reason of the call.

 

    • If the person sounds busy, make an appointment by asking when would be a good time to schedule a call.

 

    • Use the optional choice methodology. Ask which is better, Monday or Tuesday- Morning or afternoon- Ten or eleven a.m.- The result will be a person who is expecting the call.

 

    • Listen to what is going on in the background. If a phone or distraction occurs in the background, politely inquire whether or not that situation needs to be dealt with and offer to be placed on hold. This shows respect for the other person and is greatly appreciated.

 

    • Practice the Q/A/F/Q technique. Ask a Question. Wait for an answer. Feedback what was said to you to be sure you have a clear understanding of what was said. Finally ask another Question to direct the conversation into the area where you want it to go. The person asking the questions controls the direction of the call.

 

    • Finally, and most important, is to be persistent in your quest. If you remain persistent, you will most likely find the person who has the information you seek or is in a position to hire you.

 

 

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