While emailing and texting are becoming common forms of business communication, for sales nothing beats picking up the phone to make the initial pitch.
So we have pulled together some tips to help you rally for that next customer call, even when you are not feeling your best!
Be upbeat: Even when you are feeling the lowest of the low, attempt to sound like you are feeling happy – keep your voice bright and positive and vary the pitch of your voice so that the tone does not sound monotonous. No one likes to talk to a dull voice.
Have a concise agenda and stick to it: Make a clear plan for the points you would like to get across in the call and do not use superfluous language. Get to the point simply and quickly so that the person on the other end of the line is immediately sure why you are calling and what you need from them.
Soothe yourself: Stay hydrated and keep those vocal chords soothed by drinking hot tea with lemon and honey or warm water with lemon in it. You do not want to feel or sound hoarse when calling anyone because you will never sound your best.
Make sure you can be heard: We have all experienced a conversation interrupted by mobile phone service problems, someone not speaking directly into a phone’s microphone, a call being dropped or an inadequate headset. Keep distractions to a minimum by using a landline you would consider your business phone line.
Don’t speak too quickly: Speaking quickly gives the illusion that you are nervous, unorganised, or just not in control of yourself, even if that is not the case. Take a deep breath before making a phone call and try to be aware of the cadence of your speech.
Listen more than you talk: We all like to talk about ourselves – we especially enjoy when someone asks us a question and we actually feel we have been heard. Deferring attention to the person on the other end of the phone allows you to both show that you care, are a fantastic listener, and also allows you the opportunity to rest a bit if, in fact, you are not feeling up for the call. The listener never has to know this!
Make sure there are no distractions: Background noise can be extremely distracting both to you and to the party on the other end of the phone. Be sure to keep background noise to a minimum by closing your office door if possible or letting office neighbours know that you are on an important call. Another option is to use a conference room if one is available, especially if you are not feeling well and know that there will be numerous distractions happening around your desk during the call that will inevitably only make you feel even worse!