Imagine this happened to you earlier today...
You chatted on the phone for two hours with one of your favourite customers. You both laughed a lot and enjoyed catching up. It had been a while since you had a relaxed conversation with her. You're smiling as you hang up the phone.
Then reality strikes. A quick check of the time and your to-do list confirms you've lost control of your day. Your smile fades. You aren't feeling as cheery as you did a few minutes before. Now you'll have to hustle and compromise the rest of the day.
And that's not the worst impact. Your favourite customer is in exactly the same situation. She hung up smiling, too, but quickly realized the impact on her day. (I suspect this story may ring true for some of my customers.)
Here are a couple of things I try to remember to do so a friendly chat doesn't go too far off track:
- Jot down on paper a short list of points to cover during the call. I can use it as a reminder to bring the focus back to business.
- Ask up front how much time is available. Does the other person have time to chat, or should we get right down to business?
No doubt about it, I love to chat. That's why it's important to remember how it can impact my own and others' time. Please share more tips in the comments.
(Yes, Mary Jane, I'm sharing a phone tip!)
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