Oh gosh, don’t get me wrong, I’m not one to moan about ‘young people these days’ but sometimes you can understand just what those older folk are on about. I’d like to tell you about a telephone conversation I had a while ago with a student:
*Ring – Ring*
Me: “Careers Service, can I help you?”
Student: “Yeah, where are you?”
Me: “I’m sorry, how can I help?”
Student: “Where are you?”
Me: “Are you looking for the Careers and Employability Service?”
Student: “Yeah, I just got off the bus, innit”
Me: “Right, ok, are you somewhere on campus?”
The conversation continued with me working out from his description where he was and then giving him directions to our building.
It’s alright to talk to your friends in an informal manner, of course it is, but when you’re ringing an organisation for the first time or speaking to someone you don’t know there’s a level of professionalism required.
As the person answers the phone make a note of their name (literally on paper if you need to). Then say “Hello [name of person]” and introduce yourself “My name is…[?]” and then state the reason for your call “and I’m ringing to speak to/talk about…” Now that’s much nicer and makes a much better first impression to the person receiving the call.
If you know you get nervous talking on the phone make yourself some notes beforehand if you need to, with key questions or the details of the person you’d like to talk to. That way if your mind goes blank you’ve got all the information you need right in front of you.