We tend to put a lot into our telephone greeting and work hard on the conversational part of the call, but we also need to focus on how to end a telephone conversation professionally.
Here are some tips to help you end calls in a timely fashion where you obtain the results you need.
1 Your map – It’s so easy to get drawn into conversation when you are on the telephone, but how often have you put the phone down after a call and realised you haven’t got all the information you need? So, whilst you shouldn’t doodle too much whilst on a call, be proactive and make sure you keep in mind everything you need to get from the telephone conversation. Quickly make a note (map out) or think first about what you need before you make a move to end the call.
2 Pauses – Listen as well as speak, you won’t have to interrupt the caller if you just listen out for pauses and use them as an opportunity to guide the conversation or even as a queue to wrap up the call.
3 Direct & closed questions – If you find the person on the end of the telephone is talkative and this is tying up your time, try to approach this with direct and closed questions. The temptation is to empathise with the caller and be lead by their chatter, because you want to appear friendly, but this will ultimately put you under pressure if you need to move to the next call or have deadlines to reach.
4 Maintain professionalism – Not every caller will make your life easy, but it is important to maintain professionalism at all times whilst on the telephone. Our advice is to be patient and choose words carefully. This situation could make you feel aggravated, but it’s vital you don’t show this or use terms that could be condescending.
I hope these tips help you to guide and end calls more successfully. It is also worth thinking about the options you can offer for further communication. If you are finding that it is particularly difficult to successfully end calls in a timely fashion then would it be better to suggest email exchange as a follow up?