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Regarding Business-to-business Telephone Etiquette
11/27/2018 at 4:34 PM ET
I'm considering writing an article regarding B2B telephone etiquette, and I would very much appreciate your thoughts.
My working title is, "what should you never say on the telephone?"
What is it about "business-to-business" telephone calls that irritates you the most? Thanks so much.
11/27/2018 at 5:09 PM
Unsure what I could tell someone with the name "telemoxie." :-) -- Are we talking about something specific like telemarketing, sales calls, or conference calls? On typical 1:1 office calls with colleagues, I try to be prepared and respectful of the other person's time. Some irritants:
"Sorry about the dogs."
"Anyway, everything I just said is in my email."
"Hang on. My boss is IM-ing me again."
"My flight's delayed so I thought I'd call to (garbled) potentially important (garbled) next quarter."
11/27/2018 at 5:28 PM
'Can I take just a few minutes of your time?' (er, no, no you cannot)
'Did you get the email I just sent? (er, no so why call be fore I've had time to read it, / yes, that's why I have not bothered to call you back or respond)
11/27/2018 at 6:21 PM
Personal irritants for me:
People starting calls with "Hey, Gary, how are you ...?" without first telling me who they are, where they're calling from, etc ...
Immediate requests to "Just go to this website
and ..." No.
Ad sales reps with an urgent ad to sell me ... No.
Callers who don't enunciate, or who mumble, or who ramble ...
Voicemail leavers who rattle off their number at warp frigging speed, forcing me to listen to their message 5 times ... No.
Ad sales reps from Yelp! who will NOT take no for an answer.
Presumptive callers who have already had half their conversation with themselves before I pick up the call. NO.
11/27/2018 at 7:24 PM
Someone obviously reading from a script instead of a sincere conversation (especially if they know nothing of my business).
11/27/2018 at 7:28 PM
I'm finding almost all the calls on my land-line are charity solicitations, spam or scam.
If the caller has no genuine intent - what hope is there of achieving a satisfactory solution?
Excluding the outright criminal callers (bogus internet fault scams, tax scams, lottery scams) - Major irritants for me include callers who tell me they're calling about some non-existent government tax incentive program, lower energy prices (there is a government website for that here) or lower telecommunications prices. Especially when they have a heavy accent and a telephone line with poor audio fidelity.
Oh, and that person who rings and just breathes heavily down the phone for a while. What is THAT about?
11/28/2018 at 11:11 AM
"We're going to be working in your neighborhood next week, and we'd like to see if you might be interested in ..."
Peter (henna gaijin)
11/28/2018 at 11:17 AM
I think we could sue some clarification/examples of what you mean by B2B calls.
Does this include sales/telemarketing calls? If so, might want to include the legal requirements.
Probably need something covering when a call is the way to communicate, and when an alternate means (written, face to face, etc.) would be better.
Some thoughts here:
11/28/2018 at 6:32 PM
dubois: you asked about the types of calls I'm referencing. Yes, you are right, there are lots of different types of telephone calls. There are cold calls, and sales follow-up calls, and customer support calls, and conference calls... When I wrote the question, I was thinking mostly about initial telemarketing calls, lead generation calls from one business to another business. Sorry, I should've been more clear Thanks for the suggestions.
11/28/2018 at 6:33 PM
Peter (henna gaijun): Sorry that I wasn't clear. Yes, I'm interested in business-to-business prospecting calls. My understanding (although I am not an attorney) is that the do not call list applies to residences but not to businesses. To me, a home-based business or a person working from home would be kind of a gray area. I'm personally more interested in calls to larger corporations, nonprofits, government agencies. Thanks for the links, I will check them out.
11/30/2018 at 9:03 AM
Thanks so much, everyone, for your comments. It has been a big help to me.
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