Selling on the phone can definitely be an art form, with multiple elements of the conversation contributing to the ultimate success of the sale.
However, one major element you can control as a sales professional is your voice itself. We’ve all encountered someone on the phone whose voice is so annoying that we can’t wait to hang up. By the same token, we’ve encountered people whose voice is so pleasant and engaging that we’re motivated to extend the conversation.
How to achieve the best kind of voice for effective phone sales? Consider the following suggestions.
- Try vocal exercises. Some suggestions for warming up your voice before making a call are here. You might also steady your nerves by taking a deep breath, holding it for a count of 10 then slowly releasing it as you visualize tension leaving your body.
- Watch your tone. Even the best sales pitch will fall on deaf ears if your tone is saying, “I don’t believe this will work.” “Our tone tells the truth even when our words don’t, even when we’re unaware of that truth ourselves,” advises Dr. Alex Lickerman in Psychology Today. “And it’s our tone to which others respond.”
- Speak with a smile. It creates a higher frequency in your speech that people perceive positively.
- Avoid talking through your nose. That can happen when we’re nervous, but it often comes across as whiny and annoying. Instead, aim for a deeper tone that comes more from your throat.
- Pace yourself. Try to hit the golden mean of talking quickly enough so your customer doesn’t get bored, but slowly enough so he fully understands. Since many of us talk faster when we’re nervous, you might try automatically slowing your speech down by 20 percent while on sales calls.
- Inject some energy. Aim for an emphatic pitch that’s loud enough to sound enthusiastic, but quiet enough that you don’t sound angry or pushy.
- Use natural speech patterns. If your script sounds too awkward, try going off script and making your pitch using your own words. That will add more natural inflections and tonality and make you seem more genuine to the customer.
- Eliminate ums and ahs. Filler words denote uncertainty. When you need a second to think, take a brief pause instead; it may even make your customer listen more closely.
- Consider vocal training. If you think your voice is holding you back in your life or career, consider hiring a vocal coach who can help you with breathing techniques, diction, pronunciation, etc.
Looking for more advice about building your business through phone sales? Talk to Dial800 about creating a comprehensive call marketing plan that works for you.