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Hello phone, my old friend

Its a funny recruitment world we live in these days. Funny, in that so many new consultants (and to be fair the managers who teach them) have grown up in a world dominated by email, and on-line recruitment systems.

Gone are the niceties of speaking with people. Gone is the ability to influence and sell. Gone is the opportunity to differentiate and build real relationships with clients. Gone….

Hang on a minute. That’s not true. None of these things are gone at all, they are just not being used as well, or as often.

I have a really simple view on this. Email is great and has many, many advantages over the now antiquated technologies of post and fax. It is fast, it is effective, it is cheap. It is not a replacement for the telephone, and it is certainly not a means to have a real conversation.

When I was a very new consultant, I was sent to meet one of the company’s top billing temps consultants and he taught me a very simple lesson. He said “listen, its really simple. You pick up the phone, and money comes out of it”.

You pick up the phone, and money comes out of it

Was there ever a statement, so well put, so simple or so true.

Phone skills are an incredibly important part of a consultants skills tool kit. In my mind, they should be the first skills taught. Learn to love the phone. Use it as a means of introduction, a door opener, use it to keep in touch with people, use it build relationships. Use it whenever the urge comes to email.

When I walk into one of my client’s offices and all I can hear is people talking on the phone, invariably the fee boards on the walls look very healthy too.

When I walk into a client’s office and all I can hear is clicking on keyboards, the fee boards are often empty too.

Co-incidence? Of course not.

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