Connecting with people over a phone call is about more than saying the right things in the right way – your environment and body language have a massive impact, too.
Everything you do can change the nature of your conversation. The way you hold yourself when talking on the phone can affect your breathing, alter your tone and determine how confident you sound.
So, what are some easy steps you can take to get the most out of your calls? Here are some of the skills we use as part of our B2B lead generation service.
1. Make your follow-ups a priority
Every point of contact you have should end with an agreement for the next follow up. Make sure to always set a date and a time to follow up with your leads – and stick to it.
Showing that you have an active interest in how they’re getting on is a great way to ensure successful and ongoing business partnerships.
Learn more about how to make better sales follow-ups.
2. Invest in the right equipment
A headset with a microphone sounds more natural during conversation than a handset.
If you have to pull up files on a computer or grab your notebook, a normal handset will end up tucked awkwardly between the ear and the shoulder. This kind of position puts stress on your voice and makes you sound flustered.
If you go hands-free, you’ll also be able to use your hands for expression in the same way you do when you’re speaking to someone face to face. The person you’re calling may not see this, but it can improve the way you come across.
3. Take your time
You want fast results, but other people work to their own time scales. When people feel pressured, they’ll cut the call short as quickly as possible. Rushing and pushing over the phone is a sure way to scare off profitable relationships.
If you want to ensure you can get a clear message across over the phone, you move at the same speed you would be in a direct situation like a networking event.
4. Sit up straight and smile
Slumping in a chair with your chin lower to your chest will make you sound unhappy, bored or disinterested in the conversation. Sitting up straight and paying attention will improve the sound of your voice simply because you have better airflow.
Smile when you talk on the phone, just as you would in a face-to-face setting. This makes your voice seem warmer and friendlier, and everyone would prefer to speak to someone who sounds happy and engaged.
5. Care about what you are saying
Reeling off facts down the phone is enough to make anyone fall asleep.
Take an active interest in the person and their job, making sure you ask considered questions and respond to them in a way that shows you are paying attention.
This doesn’t mean you should ask personal questions; these can come across as intrusive if you’re on a first call. Ask questions that stimulate ongoing conversation such as, “That’s great, so how long have you been with the business?”
Not everyone feels confident generating leads over the phone, but following these tips will make it easier to engage with people in a way that builds respectful business relationships.