“Can you hear me now? No? Really? How about now, better? Ok, hold on, ahmmm, how about now? Oh good, ok, so, what I was trying to say… ”

No, this is not a new take on an old commercial. It was actually an attempt at a conversation I happened to overhear while waiting for a cup of coffee at a convention hall’s concession stand.

There are so many points to be made about the “appropriateness” of this call but let’s focus on this: When making a call, especially to a customer or prospect, is the quality of the call as good as it needs to be? As good as cell phones are, at times they do have a mind of their own.

There are delays in transmission – tenths of a second perhaps but enough to make the conversation awkward.

Then we have words being cut out so you only hear one or two out of five. “___ George __ late to ___ but  ___ critical ____ otherwise _____ ASAP”

Or the dreaded dropped calls, or the need to finish the call because the battery is dying, or any of a myriad of other issues.

An interesting trend is that so many people opt for using their cell phone even when having easy access to a land line. Unless the coverage is perfect… please refrain!

So what is one to do? If you do have to make an important call and cell phone (smart phone, PDA or whatever) is your only option, consider the following:

Are you at a place where you can concentrate?
While driving, walking on the street or in the middle of a convention hall may not be your best options.

Does this location have great coverage?
Hallways, your home office, a taxi cab, or the train may or may not provide that.

Is the background noise at manageable levels?
Covering your ear to hear better is a good clue that the noise can also be heard at the other end. Be mindful of windy situations as very few phones can filter out wind noise effectively.

Make a call before “the” call
Test the quality of your connection and all other points we mentioned by calling someone you trust to give you honest feedback.

What would you do if you had to make the call and the conditions were not ideal? Have you ever made or received any such calls? If so, share your experiences. I look forward to your thoughts and suggestions.


John Kypriotakis is the President of Lysis International,
a Tampa based Sales and Management consulting firm,
specializing in B2B Sales, Management and Leadership.


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