Phone conversations can be hard. No matter if it’s a personal call to a friend, or a business conference call, not being able to read another person’s face or body language can make it challenging to know how to conduct the conversation.
One technique that is sure to improve any call-whether it’s to your mother or an important sales call, is to improve your listening skills. The better that you listen, the better you will be able to respond appropriately and properly in a conversation. In fact, Forbes has included a study showing that customers who are responded to on Twitter or listened to, are more willing to spend up to 20% more on an average item.
Six Simple Techniques for Improving Your Listening Skills
1. Take notes.
One great way to improve your listening skills is to have a pen and pad of paper at hand to take notes. Writing down notes enables you to remember details of the conversation and refer back to them later as you are talking.
2. Don’t stereotype.
Before your phone conversion, throw aside any preconceived ideas about the conversion or the person that you are calling. While you want to educate yourself about the customer before your call, you don’t want to be biased. Keep an open mind, and don’t expect the conversation to go in a specific direction.
3. Ask them to repeat themselves.
Don’t hesitate to ask the person to repeat themselves. One of the parts of good listening is to be able to understand someone. If you are missing part of the conversion or mishearing things, how can you expect to respond in the right way?
For some people, phone conversations come naturally. For others, not so much. Make sure that you set aside time for your conversation, and if you need it, a quiet space. You don’t want to be distracted while you have your conversation since that can prevent you from paying attention and focusing.
5. Give a verbal response.
Remember that the person on the other end of the call can’t see you, so don’t restrict your responses to non-verbal ones, such as nodding your head. It’s important that you acknowledge them in some verbal way (it doesn’t have to be talking), such as saying “Umm,” and “ah.”
6. Ask questions.
One way to be a good listener is to ask questions. Don’t just wait to respond, but let someone talk, and when you answer, ask them a question that shows you have been paying attention to the conversation.
The best way to perfect your listening skills is by practicing. When you make phone calls pay attention to the conversation and note the areas that are difficult for you (such as covering all the topics that you need to discuss or remembering details of the conversation, etc.). Once you know the areas that you need to improve, you can begin focusing on them.
Other techniques that can help to improve your listening skills are things such as recapping the conversation, wrapping it up ("Thanks, Tina"), and using "listening games" to track the conversation.
If you apply these techniques to your phone conversations, you'll find in no time that your listening skills are improving, and you are on your way to having successful phone calls!
If you find that you are still struggling to improve your phone conversions and listening skills, Omni can help you with that. Omni provides services to businesses to help improve their phone support. From advanced call forwarding, making, and receiving calls, call recording, custom greetings, and more, Omni provides an all-in-one virtual phone system solution for your business needs.
Learn more about Omni here.