To Be a Better Salesperson, Don’t SOUND Like One


Just wondering …… why in the world do some salespeople feel like they must sound like a salesperson when they get someone on the phone?

What is it about presenting … whether it be selling by phone or speaking before a group that causes some people to cinch up and sound like the synthesized voice that gives the phone number on directory assistance?

I spend a lot of time on airplanes, and can’t tell you the last time I actually listened to the flight attendant giving the speech about the flat end going into the buckle. Oh yes I can, I flew Southwest a couple of weeks ago and, as many of their attendants do, this one delivered the announcement like they were actually talking to a person, and with humor and enthusiasm. That got my attention.
The bottom line is that on the phone, sounding canned, like you’re reading something, or like you’ve just been awakened at 3:00 a.m. is detrimental to your success.

But, many people sound that way. And many of those don’t realize it. Here are a couple of points to keep in mind.

We tune out–and are often annoyed by–unemotional, canned messages. Think about the sales calls you have received at home … the ones that follow the couple of seconds of dead air after you pick up the phone and say "Hello … hello …?"

You first hear the din of what sounds like a noisy restaurant, and the monotone voice greets you with,

"Hello, can I speak with (bad mispronunciation of your name)?"

Then they begin reading a script.

Likewise, think about some really bad acting you’ve seen in a play or movie. It looks and sounds stilted … unnatural, like it’s being read. It has the same turn-off effect.

People will speak with those who sound conversational.

What more can I add?

But please don’t misunderstand me on one key point:

Preparing what you’ll say and scripting your opening is still the best way to approach a call. But never, ever, SOUND like you’re working from an aid.

As I always say, the worst time to think of what you’ll say is as it’s coming from your mouth.

So, what to do? Easy. The better prepared you are, the more natural you will sound. "Humanize" your calls. Remember, you’re talking to another person, not at a phone instrument. Listen to your calls on tape, and ask yourself, "Would I talk to friend like this? Does this sound natural?"

Prepare your openings and recite–not read–them into a tape player. Pretend you are talking to a good friend in a social setting.

The less you sound like a salesperson, the more you’ll sell. 

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