Alastair Grant and Company: Presentations, Pitching, Business Development, Negotiation, Media Interviews, Telephone, Voice Analysis
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Telephone Skills


Good telephone technique is important to all businesses, but in particular it is key in sales and customer service areas. Why is it so important? There are two main reasons:

  • First, it is the primary contact point with customers, clients, suppliers and prospects: Some 80% of all contact with these groups is via the telephone. The reason for this is simple: it is by far the easiest way to discuss matters person-to-person. The expansion of telephone use through business over the 20th century has dramatically improved productivity. The importance of a good telephone manner by those who answer for an organisation should never be underestimated.
  • Secondly it is considered cost-effective. This cost-effectiveness comes down to 3 factors: speed, interpersonal spoken communications, and the low cost compared with the alternatives. The speed factor comes from being able to link with anyone in the world after only a few seconds delay without the time delay of travel. The interpersonal factor means we can still be there in person to discuss in a dialogue (a 2-way conversation) the key issues to be agreed and decided upon, whilst differentiating ourselves from our competitors.


But using the telephone also has difficulties. The main ones are:

  • The awkward lack of visual contact with the person/people we are talking to
  • The potential for distractions/interruptions.
  • The (increasing) likelihood of not getting through to the person we wish to speak to.
  • The reduction in communication effectiveness vs. face-face speaking, making it more difficult to determine how well the conversation is going.

A bit like going from two-way communication to “1.5-way” communication.

Areas of Advice

Developing this idea of reduced communication, it is important to realise what we can tell about the person on the other end of the call vs. what we can partially tell or not at all.

We coach those people in an organisation whose key role it is to answer and make calls. We help outgoing callers with telephone manner, tone of voice, presenting their ideas in a persuasive way, and handling of questions. For those primarily dealing with incoming calls, we cover similar topics, but in addition cover the handling of customer complaints and offering information.

Telephone skills advice and coaching for business communication
Alastair Grant & Co.
Developing Communication Skills for Business

77 Palewell Park, London, SW14 8JJ
Telephone: 020 8876 7676 | Email: | Web:
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