How to Make Effective Phone Calls – Sales Techniques
In order to make effective phone calls you need to prepare ahead of time. Your attitude, voice intonations and how you well you present the call will dictate your success. If any one of these factors is “below par” it can mean the difference between losing a potential client or gaining a new client. So let’s take a look at some of the fundamentals of effective phone techniques including proper preparation and making a strong presentation.
Warm-up Your Voice
One technique that you will need to practice is exercising your voice out loud . You need to be comfortable with hearing your own voice, including how and what you are saying prior to making a call. To get started you may want to speak out loud a motivating phrase. This will allow you to get comfortable with your own voice prior to the first call so you don’t sound squeaky or irritating because you’re not breathing properly. You also want to practice your phone call a few times because it will help you calm down and perform well.
Using your Perfect Pitch
According to Denise Graveline, a public speaking coach and communications consultant, finding your personal speaking pitch will not only create powerful resonance but it will also allow for true vocal variety. Centering your voice on that optimum pitch will create the kind of vocal power you want without damage to your vocal image or your vocal health. Better yet, you can easily find it. Here’s how: say “MMM-hmm (yes!),” out loud, with energy. Observe how it sounds and feels. When we say that, we usually say it at the optimum pitch for our voice. Try it. Listen to the pitch and also feel where it resonates. You will probably feel it vibrate in the front of your face, or “the mask.” Now start speaking at the pitch you just discovered and try to keep that buzzy feeling in the mask as you say a few words. I am not suggesting that you should speak in a monotone or on one pitch. Instead, center your pitch in the optimum pitch area, and use inflection to deviate from it as desired for expression.
Pick a Quiet Location
Where you take the call also makes a difference. You need to find a quiet space where you will be free from all distractions including your computer, phone, co-workers or family members. Your focus needs to be on your client, you need to hear what they are saying and you need to be able to focus on what you are and will be saying.
Eating and Drinking
Nothing destroys your professionalism faster than eating and drinking while you’re on the phone. The sound will come through as distortion or crunching and munching. Either way the sound can be heard – every bite!
Car Phone Etiquette
I encourage you not to take important calls in the car. If you have no other choice and must take the call, pull over to a safe place and then place your hand over your ear so you can concentrate on the call. That will help you block out the background noise. Remember, you are trying to hear what they are saying as well as how they are saying it. After all, tonality is 5 times more relevant in communication than mere words.
Stand up and Use a Headset
It’s a great idea to always stand and use a headset. Why? Because when you’re sitting down at your desk your diaphragm is compacted which makes it harder to breath and speak in a solid tone. You may also find that you are distracted by things on your desk, paperwork and your computer. These shiny objects can cause you to lose focus quickly when you’re on the phone call with a client.
As you stand up your voice will change in tonality and naturally go down in tone to help you establish leadership and gain respect faster. While you’re standing you will also find it easier to concentrate on the conversation and block out any other possible distractions. With increased focus you’ll be able to sense things on the other end of the phone that you wouldn’t in person.. If you want to know how this works, do an experiment and close your eyes or turn out the lights for your next call. You’ll be surprised at how much information you get when you listen for the clues in the voice.