In the second, it takes you to answer your phone and say, “Hello,” the person on the other end makes many determinations about you. The obvious is – if you are male or female, young or old, what part of the country or world you live. What we also determine is if you are friendly, likable, competent, and trustworthy, all by how you answer the phone! We are all wired this way to make these judgments and determination of others. Just as we make the first impression when we meet someone in person; we do the same with hearing one’s voice; it is a survival mechanism. Knowing and understanding this, we can use it toward our advantage in our professional career.
We’ve all experienced a time when you call a friend, and after he or she answers the phone, you ask if everything is alright because he or she sounds distressed. Most times all is well and they were not even aware of how they answered the phone. Talking to a friend is innocent enough when this happens, yet, what happens when it is a prospect or client? You don’t want to turn them off before the conversation even begins! Our voice is a powerful tool, that most of the time, we fail to think about.
We stay so busy with so many various tasks throughout the day that answering the phone is treated just like another one. This approach does not serve us well. Multi-tasking, while answering the phone, is revealed in your voice. When we aren’t “present” when answering the phone, it is heard on the receiving end. If a prospect or client is calling you, you want to sound inviting and friendly, not too busy to take your call or make them feel like an interruption. Your “hello” when done well will lead to assist you in your success.
Three simple steps to do before answering your phone.
- Pause – if you are in the middle of a task, such as answering email or a work project. Take a moment to stop what you are doing. If you have caller ID on your phone, it will give you time to identify who is calling, whether you know them or not.
- Take a breath – when we take in air, we feed oxygen to our brains, and a deep breath will also release chemicals in our system, which helps us remain calm. This will help to get you in the right physical state.
- Smile – your smile will be present when you answer the phone. A smile will set you up for success because the person on the receiving end will “hear” your smile and perceive you as friendly and likable, which is the first step in your conversation.
We can all easily answer our phones, yet being aware of how we do will affect how the conversation flows after your initial greeting.
One final tip, we can’t always answer every call, which is why we have voice mail. If I was to call your phone right now, would I hear YOUR voice or the automated one the phone company uses? If you have not recorded a voice greeting for your phone you are missing an opportunity. When we hear the automated recording, we wonder if we really called the right person or not. It is also an excellent opportunity to have a message to your caller, which explains who you are and when you’ll return their call. And don’t forget to smile when creating your message.
For more information, we have a helpful report that explains in more detail the influence of your voice on the phone. You can download it for free. Here is the link for you.