by Susan Berkley
[A Voice Coach subscriber writes]:
I just got hired to work at a large telecommunications company. I will be selling products over the phone. I'm really interested in improving my voice and my diction. I know my voice will be judged over the phone. How can I help my customers feel at ease?
You're off to a great start. Few people in customer service realize that it's not what they say, but how they say it that counts. Many reps think that if they follow their scripts and get the words right, they've done their job. And then they wonder why their commission checks are thin at the end of the month. The mere fact that you want to put people at ease and that you realize that your voice is an important tool for being successful puts you head and shoulders above the rest.
Your voice is the mirror of your soul. It reveals the hidden side of yourself that lurks behind your words. If you're in a great mood at work, your happiness will come bubbling through. But if you're feeling down, bored or disinterested your mood will infect the sound of your voice.
|Our voice...reveals the hidden side of yourself that lurks behind your words
This is more serious than you might think. At home, the people who know and love you will understand and (hopefully) forgive you if your voice sounds down or annoyed. They will ask you what's wrong or they may even say: "Hey! What's up with you?" and get you to snap out of it.
But at work your customers, supervisors and co-workers won't understand if you sound rude, depressed, or angry. Your supervisor will get complaints about you and might write you up. Your co-workers might think you have an "attitude." Your customers might become annoyed and take their business elsewhere. If your voice puts them off, they certainly won't buy from you and your numbers will be down.
As you can see the consequences of "emotional leakage" at work are pretty bad. So if you're in a bad mood, you must take immediate steps to prevent it from affecting the sound of your voice.
1. Get to the root of the problem
What's troubling you? Did you have a fight with a loved one? Was it something someone said or did at work? Most stress comes from the process of projection. That's when we become upset because someone else's attitudes or actions remind us of a similar attitude we don't want to see in ourselves.
Rude co-worker got you down? Well, even if you have better self control and control your rudeness, you still have seeds of the same attitude somewhere deep inside. We all do! If you can begin to accept this, you'll calm down.
2. Get out of your own head
When we are in a bad mood, we are barely present. We are a million miles away, reliving conversations we had and fantasizing about things we'd like to say to someone in the future. Usually these "bad mood" thoughts are pretty nasty and they can start to look like a horror movie in your mind. Once you become aware of what you're doing, you can "walk out" of that scary movie and come back to the here and now to calm down.
3. Remember three things that you are greatful for
This is an instant mood-lifter and a sure-fire antidote for poisonous thoughts.
4. Smile before you pick yup the phone (even if you don't feel like it)
A smile on your face will actually make your voice sound warmer, more pleasant. And the cool thing is, the more you smile, the better you will feel.
5. Visualize the person you are speaking to
Even if you talk to hundreds of people every day, never forget that there is always a real live human on the other end of the line. Imagine what they look like. Pretend you are talking to a long lost friend, someone whose company you really enjoy.
6. Remember those who depend on you the most
There are probably some very important people in your life who depend on you for love and support. When we lose control of our emotions we put our job and our health at risk. A lack of emotional control could jeopardize the well-being of those we love the most.
None of us are perfect and all of us have days when we don't feel our best. But if you've just completed this article, it shows you care enough to keep your less-than-noble-side under control. This is not easy to do, but it puts you head and shoulders above the rest. Success is sure to be yours!
From The VoiceCoach Newsletter by Susan Berkley. Reprinted with permission. Copyright 2009 All Rights reserved.
Susan Berkley is the author of Speak To Influence:How To Unlock The Hidden Power of Your Voice. available from your favorite bookseller. For a free subscription to The Voice Coach Newsletter visit www.speaktoinfluence.com.
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