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.

 

OlsonBy Katrina Olson

A recent CEW article by David Gordon caught my eye. The headline was, Are Your Sales and Marketing Teams Inhibiting Growth?

As a marketing consultant, writer, and trainer, I recognized the challenges and barriers that David was writing about. We agree on many issues (and their causes) facing electrical distributors and marketers. But I also hear from marketing people all the time that the C-Suite is hindering their efforts which, in turn, hinders the company’s growth.  

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Study


A confirmation: the winds of change are now howling.

Several years ago, in a workshop at Electro-Federation Canada’s annual conference, a roundtable session described and debated the numerous disruptive technologies that are forcing us to think differently.

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Looking BackIn the 1930s to 1940s, CEDA’s Western Canada membership was very stable with old line independent companies like Horsman, Ashdowns, Brettell, Marshall Wells, Electrical Supplies Ltd., etc.

Small electrical distributors just were not acceptable for membership as they did not carry the main-line manufacturers’ goods, publish a wiring device catalogue, or employ four to five salesmen as CEDA requested.

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Changing Scene

  • Prev
Flextherm Celebrates 25 Years With a Big Bang PHOTO: EIN-37/CEW-18-CS-Flextherm-400.jpg The floor ...
Electro-Federation Canada’s 6th Annual Future Forum, Thinking Smarter — Channel Products, Energy, ...
In partnership with Habitat for Humanity Québec, Convectair is donating two heating units ...
Do you know an industry member who has greatly contributed to the Canadian electrical industry and ...
Kendra Smith will be joining the company’s Nationals Accounts team as the Key Accounts ...
Blueway has been added as a division within Sonepar Ontario, reporting directly to Sonepar Ontario ...
Pilz Canada has added Marcus Graham to its family. Marcus is now serving a wide base of customers ...
Christopher Balleine has been appointed Stelpro’s Sales Representative, Maritimes, ...
Based in Ottawa, Lafontaine will be responsible for building on Schneider Electric’s ...
Bill Smith from Electrozad Supply Company Limited has been selected as this year’s recipient ...

Peers & Profiles

  • Prev
Sales of electrical supplies from full-line electrical distributors capture the geographic ...
I've known John Sencich since CEW began publishing. He agreed from the outset to be part of the ...
Laura Dempsey has been working as an outside sales representative for E.B. Horsman & Son for ...
Michael Gentile, President and CEO of Philips Lighting Canada, has had a long and distinguished ...
Gordon MacDonald is a cheerful, driven individual who loves to be challenged, a trait that suits ...
  Jordan Prins is an account manager at Wesco Distribution in Abbotsford, British Columbia. ...
Mike Marsh, President and CEO of SaskPower, has been a leading figure in Saskatchewan’s electricity ...
I didn’t wake up one day and go, “I want to work for my dad!” Actually, it was ...
    Ouellet Canada is celebrating 50 years in the Electrical Heating ...
  On February 27th Lumen opened their 36th branch in Ottawa, Ontario. ...

Laura Dempsey

Owen Hurst

Laura Dempsey has been working as an outside sales representative for E.B. Horsman & Son for over 15 years, and is a member of the BCEA U40 network of young professionals. She lives in Langley, BC and is proud of her position and work with E.B. Horsman, particularly as she is the second Dempsey generation to work for the company.

Laura’s mother Shelly has worked at E.B. Horsman for over 25 years, and instilled in Laura a determination to succeed. Laura followed in her mother’s footsteps after witnessing how much her mother enjoyed her work and the people she works with at E.B. Horsman.

Read more: Laura Dempsey

Laura Dempsey

Line Goyette

I've known John Sencich since CEW began publishing. He agreed from the outset to be part of the newsletter’s Editorial Board. His contribution was regular and sustained. Always present to answer my technical questions, and refer me to the right person for additional information as needed. Always available despite his role as senior leader of an influential company.

Over the past five years, many industry insiders have cited John Sencich when I asked them to name someone who had made a difference in their lives or had inspired them as a leader.

Read more: John Sencich

Looking Back

  • Prev
  As 2017 marks the 150th anniversary of Confederation, we take a look back at an aspect of ...
The resource-based industries of the Maritimes are looking to electronics to make their operations ...
  Electrical distributors must remain in both the electronic and electrical ends of the ...
  The public’s strong interest in energy-saving products should continue in the ...
  Even in a principally agricultural province like Saskatchewan, the impact of electronics ...
Electrical distribution companies operating in British Columbia will continue to get larger while ...
Golden anniversaries are celebrated by the mature, and our industry is allowed to celebrate ...
The last 50 years have been exciting ones for the electrical industry but they won’t compare to ...
The ceiling that had been placed on membership fees remained a point of contention among ...
The year 1982 started on a relatively good note for electrical distributors. Sales in the first ...

DIgitalDigitalization is set to take a strong hold of all business models, transforming how companies access, monitor, engage with and service customers. Today’s customers are not passive consumers; they rely on real-time digital access to information to make purchasing decisions. Businesses must consider how to apply digital technologies and digitized data to connect with customers to help reshape their paths to purchase. This digital lens provides improvements to business functions, operations and overall processes by creating stronger insight and knowledge so businesses can take action.

The path towards digitalization has put the electrical supply channel at an important crossroad: the entire electrical value chain (suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, customers) will need to strongly consider how to move from a traditional model that has served the market well for decades, towards a new model that is connected, smart and highly efficient. But how does the industry evolve from a traditional model to an integrated ecosystem?

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EFC 2018 Scholarship Program

This year Electro-Federation Canada (EFC) will award $156,250 across 62 scholarships supported by manufacturers, distributors and associations.

The annual EFC Scholarship Program reflects an industry that understands its responsibility to attract future talent. In the face of technological, demographic, and socio-economic evolution, the employment landscape is in constant transformation resulting in substantial challenges for companies as they work to define and redefine their recruitment practices. Furthermore, as competition for the brightest and the best of the next generation of business leaders intensifies, it’s more important than ever to engage young people. 

Read more...

 

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