Every time I phoned my mother she would greet me and any other callers (via her landline) with ‘Hello, Good Evening.’ If it was another time of day the appropriate greeting would be heard – ‘Hello, Good Morning’ or ‘Hello, Good Afternoon.’ It was her signature greeting. How do you greet others when you answer your phone? What is your signature greeting?
Greetings are very different when we are on our mobile phones. Usually, we know who is calling and therefore our response might be ‘Hello, Bill.’ If my mobile rings and it is an unknown caller I might say a vague ‘Hello’ and nothing more until I find out who is calling me. That is, if I answer the call at all!
Greetings are important and it is more welcoming if you hear a warm greeting on the other end of the phoneline. If I am phoning a business my first impression comes from the person who answers my call. If I receive a positive tone and a warm welcome, immediately I am feeling in a good place. It tells me that the person is ready and willing to hear from me. I am never disappointed when I receive that positive first impression.
Our voice tells a thousand stories. The tone can tell whether the person is busy and whether they are interested or disinterested. It does not make you feel good when you pick up the not interested vibe! It is better for a person to say, ‘I am busy right now, can I call you back later.’
How does it make you feel when you are talking to person who is distracted? You will likely feel that you are intruding. That was one positive factor about my mother she was always interested when I phoned. She engaged, she gave of her time, she was always there for me, our family and others. In her later years the phone was her lifeline to company and storytelling. My mother loved to chat on the phone. But sometimes if it went on for too long and if I was busy, yes I did get distracted! If she was having a ‘bad hair day’ I could pick it up in her tone of voice or her message This is not a skill I alone possess, we all have it. All we have to do is to listen and show interest.
Yes, greetings are important. They are an important start in showing respect and regard for another. In addition, if you want your greeting to come across warmly on the phone – SMILE! It is amazing how your voice tone will change – simply with a smile! If the phone is answered with a smile and a ‘Hello, Good Evening’ what does that say to the caller? It sets the tone for the conversation – their call is welcomed! If we can be our best authentic self and maintain this throughout the conversation that first impression will last and last.