“Yup.” Believe it or not, this is how some business owners will answer their mobile phone. As you can appreciate, this is not particularly welcoming to the recipient on the other end who is wanting to inquire about using their ‘professional’ services.

Phone manner is everything and needs to be taken very seriously as it will more than likely be a potential clients first impression of you as a person. People relate to actual people as the face (or voice) of the business and want assurance that just like the website, the service is professional and legitimate.

All of this may sound obvious, but many business owners lapse with their phone manner or even snap, especially if they’re busy at the time of the call. While it is good to appear that business is booming, the client on the other end of the phone does not want to feel rushed or that their phone call is a burden to you.

Here are some very basic tips on phone manner to keep your business sounding professional:

Always offer your business name AND your name:

This is particularly important if your phone is used for personal calls as well as business. People like to be reassured that they have called the correct number for your business. There is nothing worse than being greeted by a one word ‘Hello?’. It should not be left up to the caller to reaffirm the number and business they have called. “Hello, Lux Salon, Michelle speaking” gives the caller reassurance that they have phoned a reputable business and have a real person on the other end of the line.

Keep your greeting the same

Keep your phone manner simple and professional. Even if your best friend from Argentina calls, if you are in the presence of colleagues or clients still rattle off your name and your business name as an affirmation to those around you (and yourself) that you take your work seriously. Keeping your phone greeting the same also subtly hints to your personal calls, that if they call in business hours, you are in fact at work and don’t have time for an hour long chat about their recent holiday to Barbados – even though the holiday did sound like lot of fun.

Focus on the call

It is very tempting to check your emails on your computer, open the mail or take a swig of coffee while you’re on the phone, but try and keep the multi-tasking to a minimum. Background noise could potentially imply to the caller that their call isn’t overly important. You may find yourself missing key parts of the query or conversation if you’re distracted and your clients may not approve of having a loud slurp of coffee travelling down the phone. Another big no-no is checking social media while you’re on a call. Probably not the best thing to update your Facebook status while a potential client who’s actually Facebook friends with your brother-in-law is on the phone trying to have a serious conversation with you.

And then there’s the one golden rule we should all simply follow whether it be on the phone or in person, Speak How You Would Like To Be Spoken To.