What do they think of you–before you ever meet them? You may not know it, but you’re making a first impression with your ‘phone voice.’ We are so focused on technology today, that we are in danger of forgetting to effectively use that technology.
What Does your Phone Voice Say about You?
Pretend you didn’t know you. Listen to your phone message. What ‘first impression’ are you making? Do you sound happy to hear from that caller? Sluggish? Disinterested? Timely?
When I phone an agent today, I have no idea where that agent will answer his or her phone—or from what phone the call is being answered. And, I don’t really care. Technology allows the phone to follow the agent. That’s great. Here’s what’s not so great. Many times the agent’s message is so dull, powerless, or mumbled that it doesn’t sound as though the agent wants to talk to me. Or, the agent’s message is so long, that I’m impatient by the time I get to leave the message.
What Impact Do You Want to Make?
Surveys show that consumers want their agent to be enthusiastic. So why do many of the agents’ phone messages sound as though they are terribly tired or uninterested in the caller? Here’s the principle.
We use our senses to make snap judgments about people.
The less senses involved, the more important it is that we communicate properly. On the phone, there is only once sense involved—that of hearing. You have no ability to communicate your warmth, your interest, etc. visually on the phone. You have only your voice.
Decide What You Want to Communicate
What conclusions do you want your caller to have about you? Write down the five most important judgments you want your caller to make about you and your business approach. Now, listen to your own voice message. Do you believe you are communicating your ‘best self’? Ask five other people to listen, too. Decide what you like and what you want to change.
Research your Competition
Don’t listen only for your own communications. For three days, listen carefully to the tone, intent, and messages you hear on answering machines or voice messages of other agents and brokers. Listen carefully to how agents answer the phone at their offices. What do you think those agents are communicating? Do you believe they are communicating the kind of qualities they want to communicate—and think they are communicating?
Four important tips to remember when recording your own message:
- Stand up—you’ll sound as though you have much more energy.
- Write out your script first—and be sure it’s not too long. I don’t really care where you’re going to be all day!
- Modulate your voice pleasantly. Try to get some resonance.
- Sound as though you’re looking forward to hearing from me!
These simple tips will increase your trust rate and your business. Get to ‘hearing’ today! Best news for budgeting: These tips cost you nothing, but reap you great benefits. First impressions count: Create your best phone voice.