What are some of the problems/pitfalls of conducting business on the telephone?

Expert Answers

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While conducting business on the telephone is convenient and in many cases necessary, it does have its pitfalls.   Let us look at two major pitfalls.

The first of these problems is seen when we compare conducting business on the telephone to conducting business via email or other written communication.  The problem here is that most phone calls leave no permanent record.  This can lead to misunderstandings.  Two people can talk on the phone and remember the conversation differently.  This can lead to a situation in which misunderstandings arise and jeopardize deals that were made or relationships that were forged on the telephone.

The second problem is seen when we compare conducting business on the phone with conducting business in a face to face environment.  Here, the problem is that the communication that takes place over the phone is much less rich than the communication that takes place in person.  In person, the people who are talking can read one another’s body language and various other sorts of nonverbal cues.  On the phone, most nonverbal cues cannot be perceived.  This means that people will not understand one another as well when they talk on the phone as they will in person.

For these reasons, it can be problematic to conduct business via telephone.

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