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Getting more information - Tips for making successful phone calls
There can often be a lot of questions that you may need to ask when you are trying to start something new (e.g. a new course or a new job) or when you want to make changes in your life (e.g. trying to find a new place to live or trying new ways of getting around). Below are some tips for making successful phone calls and getting the information that you need.
1. If you have a lot of questions, write them down on paper or type them on your computer screen before you call, this will help you to remember them.
2. If the person you are talking to seems in a hurry just explain that you have more questions and ask if there is a better time for you to call back or if there is someone else you can speak to regarding your questions.
3. Have a pen ready so that if you are given some information or a phone number you can write it down. If you are unable to hold the phone and write at the same time, you could explain this situation and ask the person if they could email or send you the details. Alternatively, a friend or family member can write things down for you if they are present when you make calls. Simply repeat the details out loud as they are given to you. Hands-free or speaker-phone systems or headsets can also make phone calls a lot easier when you are ringing to find out information.
4. Even before you start asking questions it can be useful to introduce yourself to the person answering the phone and explain a little bit about your reason for calling. When people have a good understanding of your needs and what you are trying to find out they can better assist you with the right information. It also helps to avoid misunderstandings!
5. If the person you have been speaking to has been really helpful, but you didn’t catch their name at the start, it is fine to ask for their name again at the end of the conversation and thank them for their help. They may also have a direct phone number on which you can call them again. It can be a good idea to keep a list of people and their phone numbers so that you know who to call next time.
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