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A small business blog featuring tips to help entrepreneurs succeed in the small business world. Topics include family business, human resources, marketing, money, networking, operations, ownership, startup, taxes and technology.
Saving Time on the Telephone
Many of us find that there really aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything would like to done. Any shortcut can help to make the minutes of the day go by more smoothly. Something that can often take up a lot of your time in any business are telephone calls. But, they must be made and time must be spent.
Here are few tips for saving some time on those necessary calls, and maybe freeing up time for other things:
Map It Out
When important calls need to be made to clients or investors, make an outline of everything you need to discuss before making the call. Draw up the points you want to bring up, including possible questions from the other end of the phone and your responses. Also, when the call is connected, let the client know why your calling – give them a run down of what to expect from the call. If he/she knows that you have an agenda in mind, that might help to keep them from making small talk or changing the subject.
Whether making or receiving a call, don’t be afraid to tell the other person that your time is limited and, though he/she will have your full attention, you’re on a deadline, etc. It’s better to be up front about your time crunch, in a warm and professional manner, than to huff and puff in the background of the call in anticipation of moving on.
Don’t always resort to a telephone call. Try sending and e-mail with the information or questions you have to share instead. But be sure to ask the recipient to response at their earliest convenience or to confirm to you that the e-mail was received (many e-mail programs have an automatic system that will alert you when your e-mail is read by the recipient). Also, if the information you need to provide is not dire, such as confirmation of an appointment set for a month from now, send a quick letter instead.
To avoid missed calls and the ever annoying case of phone tag, schedule a follow-up call, especially if the person you’re talking with also has a busy schedule. That way, he/she expects the call, knows when they will receive further information, and you are sure to catch each other.
Though these small tips may not give you much more time in the day, they will help you to save a little, not to mention avoid some hassle and annoyance in the process. And hey, every little bit counts, right.
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