Body language and its place in phone shopping

City Diary

What do you get up to when you're on the phone? With the advent of the mobile phone obviously the question is more interesting than it used to be.

According to a survey by TSB (now part of Lloyds Bank) into phone shopping, nearly half (49.1 per cent) eat or cook while on the phone. Almost one in four smokes (23.5 per cent) and one in five works (18.6 per cent). About the same number (17.5 per cent) "doodle or watch TV."

Communications psychologist Guy Fielding warns that this means many people are not getting the best out of phone shopping. "Body language, confidence and persistence are as important on the phone as in the shop," he says.

Maybe so, but the TSB's accompanying leaflet sounds a bit obvious: "Before you pick up the phone, decide more or less what you want to say. Because you can't see the other person, pay particular attention to how the other person sounds."

I'll make sure to remember that one.

A joke that is doing the rounds among brokers back from the piste: How many ski instructors does it take to change a light bulb? One to change it and six to criticise every turn.

A heavyweight report published by the Ethical Investment Research Service yesterday will not result in trees in rainforests being felled, despite the fact that the report is more than 100 pages long. The back of the report, which is titled Money & Ethics, carries the blurb: "Printed with soya-based inks and recycled paper." Sounds tasty.

Scotland has always had a reputation for producing good accountants, so it is particularly fitting that the newly appointed president of the trade body for receivers - the "Society of Practitioners of Insolvency" (SPI) - is a Glaswegian.

Gordon Stewart, 40, is also, however, a lawyer, and as the overwhelming majority of receivers are accountants this could give rise to professional jealousy. Whatever their statements in public, the two professions are keen rivals in private.

Receivers, however, seem to like Mr Stewart, an insolvency partner with the solicitors Allen & Overy, despite his being a lawyer. "He's a pretty practical and commercial animal - some lawyers aren't," commented one senior receiver.

With a career spanning big cases such as Ferranti and Maxwell, Mr Stewart is even approved of by his fellow insolvency lawyers, one of whom said: "He's a good, solid, sensible operator - rather than an extravagant prima donna whizzkid."

Sad to relate, Mr Stewart has just this week slipped from the top position to number two in Allen & Overy's Fantasy Football League Table. Colleagues have dubbed him "the Keegan of Insolvency."

Remember that corporate jet that Forte owned and which became the butt of so much criticism during the recent bid for the group by Granada? To backers of the bid the Forte aircraft came to represent everything that was out of date and flabby about the eatery group.

Now it appears that Granada has decided to keep the jet -because it is "quite useful for management." So who's going to bid for Granada, then?

Forget the National Lottery. If you own or run a small business and you need a cash injection look no further than Lloyds Bank's new Grantfinding service. Lloyds is offering free IBM-compatible floppy disks to the first 3,000 who phone 0345-343434.

The idea is to get rid of "grant cowboys" who promise grants and then disappear with their advance fee. More than pounds 5bn is available from the European Union and government grants. And you don't have to watch Anthea Turner.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
general electionThis quiz matches undecided voters with the best party for them
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen starred in the big screen adaptation of Austen's novel in 2005
tvStar says studios are forcing actors to get buff for period roles
Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge show their newly-born daughter, their second child, to the media outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on 2 May 2015.
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Senior SEO Executive

£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior SEO Executive is requi...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before