Using A Mirror To Improve Phone Skills
For over thirty years, I have both personally transacted business on the telephone and trained telemarketers, customer service people, and both inbound and outbound phone sale people, as well as organizational leaders, on how to obtain optimal results using a telephone. I have discovered many interesting things about phone selling, not the least of which is that one can be great on the phone and awful face to face, and vice versa. Selling and transmitting business on the telephone takes specific skills and actions, and is something that nearly anyone willing to be trained, can be taught to do.
I am a major proponents of using two small tricks to help with phone success. The first is to employ the phone’s mute function, and to only disengage the mute when you are prepared to speak. That keeps you from blurting out something without due consideration, or interrupting the other person. However, while many people use the mute function, the employment of a small table mirror is even more helpful.
Studies show that many people can sense the mood or attitude of the person on the other end of the phone, either by their voice, their attitude, their tone of voice, or factors such as politeness and patience. Since we often do not hear ourselves as others do, I suggest that someone place a small table mirror directly in front of them while they are on the phone. Look in the mirror at yourself as you are communicating on the telephone. What is your facial expression? Are you smiling, “smerking,” or moping? Do you look like you are enjoying yourself? Do you appear as if you are getting angry (turning red or changing facial expression) based on what is happening on the call? Do you look like someone who doesn’t want to be there? Do you have the same expression on your face as you would if you knew the other person could see you, as in the face to face scenario? How about your posture? Are you sitting up rigidly, or sitting comfortable? Are you sitting erect or slouching into your chair? Are you focused on what is being said to you?
Only by knowing what you have been doing mostly subconsciously, will you be able to address it. Using a mirror is an easy aid, and a helpful one. I have seen telemarketers increase their closing ratios on the telephone exponentially just by paying attention to these details. Similarly, I’ve observed businesses Customer Service satisfaction rate rise dramatically when these unconscious negative acts stop bringing down the perceived sincerity level. In many cases, when I have done Leadership Training for leaders of organizations, I have gotten the feedback that they were far more able to motivate their members when they addressed their own personal telephone body language.
Even in today’s digital and electronic age, there is an important need to be professional and caring on the telephone. Simply by thinking about how we look in the mirror and addressing those things, we can enhance our performance significantly.