Proper phone etiquette may seem like common sense, but in today’s digital age, communication skills seem to get lost in translation. Try to keep these phone etiquette tips in mind when talking with your agency’s account managers.
1) The best time to call. Try your best to call your account manager during normal business hours (8am-6pm, M-F). Some agencies (like us!) allow for office phones to be transferred to cell phones after business hours for any on-site emergencies during an activation. But do try your best to reach your agency during business hours.
2) Identify yourself. Be sure to give your full name and reason for calling. If leaving a message, follow the same proper phone etiquette and include your call back number and best time to reach you.
3) Remain professional. Avoid informal speech and explicit language. If a relationship between you and your manager has already been established, you may inquire about other non-sensitive personal matters. Let your personality shine…but make sure you are doing so appropriately.
4) Reduce the noise level. This phone etiquette tip should apply to any call. You may be able to hear someone but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they can hear you. Remember: Background sounds can drown out your voice. Move to a quieter area if talking on the phone. Roll the windows up if in a car. If you absolutely must make or receive a call in a noisy environment, cup your hand over the mouthpiece of the phone as best as you can. Not only will the person on the phone appreciate it, but those around you will thank you, too!
5) Speak clearly and directly into the mouthpiece – and don’t use a speakerphone. If there is a need for you to be “hands-free”, then proper phone etiquette says you shouldn’t be on the phone. Wait until you can physically pick up the phone to have a conversation. Remember to speak clearly and slowly, especially when leaving a message. And don’t eat or chew gum while talking!
6) Smile! And set the tone. Did you know that you can actually “hear” a smile? If the account manager senses boredom or shyness in your voice, they may think you don’t have the right personality for the gig. Make sure your tone is positive, yet not pushy or overly anxious.
7) Take notes. Have a pen and paper handy. If you are speaking to a new manager – one you haven’t worked with before – make sure you write down their name…then use it during the call. You’ll also want to take specific notes regarding what is expected of you for the event.
8) Don’t talk while driving! Know your state law. Some states prohibit use of a cell phone while driving. If you must answer a call, let your account manager that you are driving and would like to call them back. Give them a time frame when you will return their call…then make sure you do so! (The same goes for texting. Do not text and drive. Wait until your vehicle is stopped to send a text.)
9) End on a high note! Thank the account manager for taking the time to speak with you. If you are booked, thank them for the booking and reassure them that you will do your best!
You’ll be surprised just how far proper phone etiquette can take you. It shows professionalism, positivity, and will give you that edge that you need over other talent!
Lisa Marino is an account manager with Adelante Live Inc. To learn more about Lisa, please read her full bio here. When she’s not hustling for ALI, she can be found doing a mean cover of “Dreams” at a local karaoke night.