It’s Not What You say, but How You Say It

My wife Roslyn was at a restaurant recently, and sitting at the table next to her were two couples. One man commented to the other and said how great his secretary was. The wife of the man talking cut him off and said, “How good could she be? All she does is answer the phones—anyone can pick up a phone and say ‘Hello.’" She wanted to lean over and tell her to stop being so mean to her husband, and to also say that nothing could be further from the truth.

One of my “Roz-isms” that I always say is, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it.” Meaning how you respond to someone— the words you choose to use—makes a big difference on how someone will react to you. This holds especially true for whoever answers the phones for your business.

The person answering your phones is the first interaction someone has with your company, and that person is representing you. What your receptionist says and how he/she says it will make a difference if a potential client wants to make an appointment with you. When I had my tax resolution business, I had three receptionists at the front desk. I never wanted an incoming call to go to voicemail, but more important, I provided a script (which is included in my Tax Domination System & Toolkit) for how the receptionist would talk to the person calling.

Think about it—when you call someone who provides a service, don’t you feel a certain way—happy, annoyed, or worse, angry—depending on how that person talked to you? To test out my theory, have someone you know call in as a “secret shopper” and let you know how they were treated. It’s that important to know your phones are being answered properly.