I watch very little TV nowadays… but I take the time to watch 24 on Fox (via TiVo so I don’t watch the commercials). It’s a great show and would highly recommend to anyone.Jack Bauer
The other day my wife and I were watching a few of the episodes and I was amazed by the efficiency in communication in their moments of crisis. There is no “hello” “how are you” “what are you doing” small talk. They call… they get to the point… and when they are done… they hang up.
Don’t get me wrong… I like to be personable. But how many times have you been running around like a madman… (or madwoman) a million calls… a million things to do… and you answer the phone and you hear “So what is going on?……”
The problem is that there are too many phone calls like that!
So I would like to establish a few things that are necessary in any business phone call…
- Be prepared – Many times people just pick up the phone with no real intention as to what the purpose of the conversation is. Then they get on the phone and ramble on and I’m left wondering what the hell they called about to begin with. Know your outcome!
- Get to the point quickly – We are all busy and attention span is very thin nowadays. We are in a constant state of information overload. So be succinct with your conversation, get to the point quickly and without a ton of details that don’t matter. Most busy people don’t want that many details… if they do then they will ask you for it.
- Don’t ask “Is this a good time to talk” – If it was not a good time to talk then I would not answer the damn phone and let it go to voice mail. Any more stupid questions??!!!
- Don’t ask “Are you busy” – Same principle applies as “Is this a good time to talk”. In addition, the answer to that question is always YES! I am always busy, too many things to do and not enough time in the day. So let’s get on with it please!
- “How are you” and “How are you doing” – …are not necessary. Assume that I am doing fine. If I was not and I thought that you actually cared then I would tell you. Otherwise… let’s roll.
- Don’t overstay your welcome – How many times have you seen your caller ID and thought “Oh no, I won’t take that call… he’s a talker. They will just keep me on the phone” Do you want to be that caller? If you are succinct, get to the point and be attentive to not taking other people’s time unnecessarily. Then guess what will happen? More people will take your phone calls. They know that when you call you are not going to keep them on the phone and so they are going to be more likely to take your phone call.
So what about Jack Bauer? He calls CTU and gets what he needs and then he does the thing that is sooooooo hard for many of us to do (including me sometimes)… he HANGS UP! That is right! He does not have the time… there are terrorists out there and he has some serious ass kicking to do and has NO time to waste on formalities.
We have our own terrorist out there. They are time sucking vampires, customers that just annoy us, relatives and friends that have nothing better to do than just talk us to death on the phone and so on…
So start being like Jack Bauer and you will find that not only will you have more time… but more people will want to talk to you(at least the ones that matter).