93% of our communication is body language and only 7% is verbal. So for those involved in the cold calling process, you need to be thinking carefully about how you sound over the phone when you are making your calls.
What’s the best advice to improve your voice? How do you create a voice that sells? Below are four practical ideas that you can use to improve your voice etiquette over the telephone.
1. The minute you pick up the phone, body language disappears, and the tone of voice and the words you use become the entire story. In fact, almost the entire message you project is communicated through the sound of your voice, so it’s important to have a sense of enthusiasm and enjoy the process. It only takes a second or two for the prospect to pick up on your attitude. In fact, a prospect knows within 3 seconds of the call whether they’re talking to beauty or the beast!
You do not want to sound sheepish and embarrassed, nor do you want to be arrogant. The ideal tone is your natural voice – warm, businesslike, curious and straight to the point (and no silly accents please!). The first couple of seconds of any cold call is paramount, and something as simple as your voice and your tone hold the key to a great start!
2. If the volume of your voice is too quiet you will sound passive and lacking in confidence. If the volume of your voice is too loud it creates an impression of dominance and aggression. If energy is lacking from the voice then people will find you (and your product or service) lacking in credibility. If you are unable to get fired up with enthusiasm for your own product or service then the prospect won’t be able to either!
3. Setting the tone of your voice is critical to how the prospect feels about receiving this call out of the blue. Speaking clearly and pacing your speed is vital to get the message over.
Pay attention to the pace and volume of the person you are speaking with. If they speak a little more quietly and slowly than you naturally do, slightly alter elements of your tone of voice to match theirs. This will create rapport. It sends the subliminal message that ‘I’m like you’. Since we know that ‘people like people who are similar to them’ it makes sense to try to create a good rapport.
4. Pausing on the telephone is powerful. Make a conscious effort to pause after key points and questions. Pauses timed correctly create a wonderful opportunity for your prospect to respond. Not only does a well-timed pause allow your prospect to react to you, it helps to inspire their curiosity, it provides emphasis on what you are saying, it creates impact and an aura of importance.
Finally, a little note on accents….
Our best tele-marketers pay attention to people’s accents on the telephone. If they can’t place the accent, they might ask something along the lines of ‘you have a nice accent, whereabouts are you from?’ The most successful tele-marketers here at Gungho are the ones who ask more questions!
On many of our campaigns we are calling into the Americas. Our British accents can be an advantage, but in some instances people are suspicious of our ‘foreign accents’. If we sense the prospect is nervous about our approach, we address our accent straight away, with a ‘forgive my British accent’ – it’s a good way to build the rapport and open up the call.
We put this kind of cold-calling know-how and experience into action every day to secure new business for our customers. Please get in touch with us on +44 (0) 203 326 8150 to find out how our business discovery agents can help you.