From Chapter 8: Preparing Your Market Campaign
8.42 Phone Success Techniques
Phone TECHNIQUE is a huge factor in a career search, and is learned through continued practice with phone presentations and is very important in making a presentation and become “second nature” to you. TECHNIQUE, married and coupled with the following guidelines for a basic phone presentation will assure a smooth and effective presentation (which will get you appointments). Focus on the following:
1. VOICE: Can almost by itself assure a successful phone presentation. When adapting your voice to the telephone, you should speak directly into the mouthpiece. Avoid calling on a mobile phone as your voice will sound tinny and the chance of a dropped or garbled call is significant. You might want to test your volume with a tape recorder, setting a volume that comes over evenly and can be heard without straining.
2. DICTION: Is as important as the voice. The telephone isolates it, magnifies every imperfection, and , and additionally distracts from the thought you wish to convey.
3. VOCABULARY: Adjust to the respondent’s vocabulary level as nearly as possible. Be professional; never include any profane words in YOUR vocabulary no matter how slight, regardless of what language the respondent uses.
4. CONVERSATION SPEED: Adjust the speed of the conversation: “Mirroring” is the skill of matching the conversation speed of the other person. It really works. With a slow-speaking person, speak slightly faster so they will concentrate on what you are saying. Conversely, with a faster-speaking person, a shade slower will give good results. This will help avoid the “runaway train” effect where both speakers are rapid firing away with little comprehension.
5. SELF CONFIDENCE AND AUTHORITY: Develop a high degree of authority and self confidence in your voice. Executive Assistants and receptionists will patch you right through to the decision maker when the qualities in your voice demand or earn it. Speaking with conviction will convey and demonstrate authority. The most guaranteed method to help you acquire authority and self confidence, however, is control of your presentation and positive thinking.
6. HUMOR: Happiness is contagious and infectious! It’s a warm, friendly feeling that is easily transmitted. Place a mirror in front of you while dialing to make certain a happy face is part of every call. A smiling or laughing person makes the listener receptive to thoughts, ideas and suggestions. An old boss of mine said “smile and dial!”.
7. FIRMNESS: As mentioned earlier, NEVER APOLOGIZE! Be courteous, considerate as well as confident, but always avoid making a direct apology. Never open a communication with a comment of the type, “I’m sorry to have bothered you.” You add value, until you have this mindset, don’t contact anyone!
8. PRACTICE: Makes perfect. The top professionals in every field reached success because of one thing…practice! Professional sports teams, as a clear example, demand that even the best players attend all practices. On the phone, you as those athletes, can be the best…with practice, practice, practice.
In summary, as you develop and apply a perfected phone TECHNIQUE with well thought presentations and you WILL invariably achieve your desired results. At this point you should refer to Exhibit 9 : The Telephone Appointment Setting Worksheet, and fill it in to get ready for your calls..