…and making your customers like you!
We all know that people do business with people they Know, Like, and Trust, but when it comes to the initial phone interaction, LIKE is all that matters. They don’t know you yet, and they certainly can’t trust you before they like you, so “like” is the critical factor here. Here are 3 tips for being more likable on the phone, and getting your customers to commit to a “next step” beyond the initial phone call.
1. Great Tone!
Did you know that you can “hear” a smile on the phone. In fact, studies show that we can “hear” a smile with 87% accuracy. Don’t miss this great opportunity to build rapport with your customer by actually smiling when you answer and talk with them. Your tone should be upbeat, positive, enthusiastic, helpful, and confident. And yes, you can convey all of those at the same time through your tone.
2. Be Curious – Ask Good Questions
Nothing builds rapport and influence like understanding. When your customer feels you understand them they are more open to your influence and a commitment to a “next step.” For you to understand them you must ask great, open-ended questions (requiring more than a yes or no answer), with genuine curiosity. They need to know that you really care about them and their answers, and that you’re not just trying to lead them down the garden path. Be genuinely curious and you will be surprised how much they open up to you.
This is really the Secret Sauce of sounding great on the phone. When your customer answers a question, or makes a statement of any kind, don’t miss this golden opportunity to validate their response. For example, you ask the question, “What kind of project are you working on?” and the customer replies “We’re building a restaurant.” Rather than just jump into your next open-ended question (which can sound like an interrogation), validate your customer first by saying something like, “That sounds like a great project” or “That’s exciting!” or any positive validation that shows you heard, and you care. Then you can ask your next question. The more you validate, the more opportunities you will have to celebrate…
…celebrate gaining a new customer that is.
Remember, when you sound awesome on the phone you are more likable, and people do business with people the LIKE!