Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

 September 30, 2018

Jeff MowattBy Jeff Mowatt

Like you, there are times in my work when emails and texts aren’t efficient and I actually need to phone someone and have a real conversation. In my case, it’s when I’m preparing for a training session or to speak at a conference that requires interviewing senior managers and key employees. I’ve made literally thousands of calls over the years, and since I pay particular attention to customer communication I’ve created a list of Top 10 Telephone Turnoffs. See if you can relate to them, which I’ve rated from least annoying to worst. More importantly, read the accompanying tips to ensure you and your team members aren’t committing the same offences.

10. “Good afternoon, thank you for calling ABC company, Ralf speaking. How can I help you?” Long greetings waste the caller’s time. Instead, just open with, “Thank you for calling ABC company, this is Ralf.” It’s concise and finishes with the employee’s name rather than the word speaking. People remember the word spoken last and the most important word is your name. While you’re at it, avoid asking, “How can I help you?” The caller will tell you this, and adding that statement essentially steps all over your name by following it with more words that make it even less memorable.

9. “Hello.” While, turnoff #10 was too long, this greeting doesn’t offer enough information. If a call is transferred to you from a switchboard, just say, “Good morning (or afternoon), this is Jeff.” In this case, by saying good morning you let the caller know they’ve reached you live; not your voice mail.

8. “How are you?” Asking this question to someone you’ve never met has two unintended consequences: 1) sounds insincere 2) wastes the person’s time. Not a great start, especially when the most important thing you’re trying to establish is trust. Instead of asking, “How are you?” simply introduce yourself, then explain, “We’ve never met. The reason I’m calling is…

7. “Please hold.” Putting a caller on hold without asking permission is rude. Instead, ask permission and thank them: “May I put you on hold for a moment? Thank you.”

6. “I’m either on the phone or away from my desk…” Callers understand that they’ve reached your voice mail. They don’t need an explanation about why. If you’re out of the office for several days mention that. Otherwise, just state, “You’ve reached the voice mail of Jeff Mowatt. Please leave a message. ‘Nuff said. (Please don’t tell me to have a great day. Just stop talking so I can leave a message.)

5. “Your call is important to us.” This is the default recorded message you often hear when reaching a call centre. Again, the most important thing to establish with customers is trust. It doesn’t help when the record message tells a lie. If our call was really that important to the organization, they’d have a live person taking our call. This statement insults our intelligence. Instead, opt for, “Your call will be answered in approximately x minutes. Thank you for your patience.”

4. “You need to call Department X.” (When customers have a complaint). The last thing customers want when expressing a concern is the runaround. If a customer is unhappy, rather than foisting them on another department, ask permission to put the caller on hold. Then you call the department to brief them about the customer’s concern and their state of mind. That leads us to turnoff #3…

3. ABC department? (When picking up a transferred call after you’ve been briefed about their complaint). Forcing unhappy customers to repeat themselves simply elevates their frustration. Instead, answer the call by introducing yourself with your first and last name, explaining that your colleague briefed you, and paraphrasing your understanding of the situation. Then, rather than starting back at square one, the customer can simply correct or confirm the details.

2. Peeking at your smart phone screen while in face-to-face conversation. When you check your phone in front of others you demonstrate a focus on yourself that undermines trust.

1. Talking on a cell phone around others. No one wants to hear a half of a phone conversation from a bystander. Anywhere. Anytime. We’d rather listen to jets taking off than be subjected to someone’s stream of consciousness. If you must make a phone call while others are within earshot, keep it short or go elsewhere to make the call.Bottom Line… the good news about these telephone turnoffs is they are easy to avoid. As I teach in my seminars, ask yourself if everything you say and do enhances or diminishes trust. When you demonstrate your respect for your customers’ time and intelligence, chances are you will be rewarded — literally — with their loyalty.

This article is based on the bestselling book, Influence with Ease by Hall of Fame motivational speaker Jeff Mowatt. To obtain your own copy of his book or to inquire about engaging Jeff for your team, visit www.jeffmowatt.com. Watch for more articles from Jeff in future issues.

 

 

Impact of the Manufacturing DeclineThis study quantifies the impact of the manufacturing decline on the wages and employment rates of Canadian workers in their local labour markets. The estimates, drawn from census data from 2000 to 2015, indicate that the decline in manufacturing employment had a sizable adverse effect on the wages and full-year, full-time employment rates of men — especially less educated men. In contrast, relatively few groups of women appear to have been negatively affected by the decline in manufacturing employment. 

 

 

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Jeff MowattBy Jeff Mowatt

“It drives me crazy when my salespeople complain our prices aren’t competitive.” This was a manager who brought me in to work with his team. He continued, “How do I get my team members to stop selling on price?” After years of training numerous sales and service teams (whose prices weren’t the lowest), I’ve discovered five simple strategies for making price less relevant.

 

 

 

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Investment In Building Construction - NovemberTotal investment in building construction decreased 2.0% from October to $13.7 billion in November. Both the residential (-2.2% to $9.4 billion) and non-residential (-1.6% to $4.3 billion) sectors declined. On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), investment in building construction decreased 2.1% to $11.6 billion.

In the residential sector, investment in single dwelling construction was down 2.0% to $4.9 billion, while investment in multiple dwelling construction (which includes doubles, row homes and apartments) declined 2.5% to $4.5 billion.

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Changing Scene

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President of Border States Electric David White is AD’s newest director. White served on the board previously while he was president of Shealy Electrical Wholesalers, which joined in 2016 with Border States. -Along with his election, White has been appointed by the board to its organizational development committee. 

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HRAIBranch management is one of the most vital roles in a multi-location distribution company.  Unfortunately, they are often thrown to the wolves when it comes to training and management directions.  We want to change all that.  The goal of this seminar is to help new, and experienced, branch managers learn how to operate a profitable location from the ground up.  We have been offering this course privately through sponsoring trade associations for the past 5 years. Now, it’s open to everyone.  

 

 

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HPSHammond Power Solutions (HPS) will be opening a new warehouse in Reno, NV in early 2020. The new facility will replace the existing warehouse in Compton, CA, with plant operations in Compton being unaffected.

The new warehouse will better accommodate HPS’ growing product sales and provide improved shipping leadtime in select regions. The Reno warehouse is triple the size of the Compton facility at 36,000 square feet, and it will house an expanded number of product SKUs.

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Peers & Profiles

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Looking Back

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