By | Khyati Gupta Babbar | Santulan Behavioural Sciences
“Very often my target client and I are in different cities so we have conference calls for our pitch meetings. How do I ensure that even in my phone conversation I am able to make a positive impact?”
“My employees often have global calls with teams in different geographies. How do I ensure that I am able to work effectively on the phone in such geographically spread out teams?”
These are two very common questions that people ask us. Are these business scenarios common for your work life too?
We all know that our non-verbal communication impacts our face to face interaction. But did you know that your body language can also impact how you are perceived in a telephonic conversation? From your phone conversations the person on the other line can make an assessment on your warmth, confidence, competence and effectiveness. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
How can you feel connected on the phone?: Do you know why we build a stronger bond when we see someone in person? It is because of the chemical called Oxytocin, which is a bonding hormone. How can we get the same effect in our phone conversations? Every time you are speaking with a business contact or a person that you do not know very well, pull up their LinkedIn or Facebook profile in front of you. This will make your brain feel that the person on the other line is an actual person. It will also help you generate more warmth in your speaking.
How can you show EFFECTIVENESS in a business call?: Say “I will note down the key points of the call so that we both know our action items.” Simply by verbalizing your intent you are sending out an “effectiveness signal”. The other person will know that you want to get work done and you will be taken more seriously.
How can you show CONFIDENCE on the phone?: It happens very often that whenever there is a tough topic like price being discussed, we suddenly lower our volume. This tells the other person that you are not very confident about your price. Ensure that you volumize even during a tough conversation.
*A special tip for those of you who are taking phone calls from your open office spaces. If possible, find a cocoon room to take your call from so that you can speak at a good volume.
How can you show COMPETENCE? Have you ever noticed that little children speak in very high pitched voice tones? And sometimes we adults also end up doing that. However, the person on the other side cannot help but associate such a high pitch with low competence. To show your competence on the phone speak in the lowest natural end of your voice tone.
How do you discover that?
Take a deep breath. And then on the out-breath say your name. That is your low end of voice tone.
* Remember: If you find yourself getting nervous on a call take a deep breath and speak on the out breath as you lower your shoulders.
How can you master your HELLO?: Your hello on the phone makes your first Phone Impression. A squeaky hello will make you sound incompetent. Always say your HELLO on the out breath!
What is an authentic and effective way of adding emotionality to your phone conversations?: Use your hand gestures. Yes, it works. When you feel an emotion, you express it fully with your hand movements. For example, you want to say that “We will grow your company from Point A to Point B.” You are fully expressed when you show the growth signal with your hands. Do it even in a phone conversation. The emotion will transmit through your voice.
How can you ensure WARMTH in your phone calls?: Never script. Always bullet. If you script your answer it will always come across as rehearsed. Instead write down the main bullet points and then discuss them one by one. And secondly, share stories and elicit stories from the person on the other side. For example: “Did something like this happen with you?” “Do you have any example to share so that I can understand your point better?” Stories increase the overall warmth of the conversation.