It's All About Tone

As some of you may know I have an in house phone room for my clients who would like a jump start on their data mining efforts. I have the pleasure of hearing all sorts of different calls being made on a daily basis. Weather it’s vehicle exchange/upgrade, follow ups, customer satisfaction calls or any other type of call.

I can tell in an instant without seeing a face if a call is being made with an improper tone.  So what does that tell me?

So can a customer.

We all have someone (or several people) that when they pick up the phone you know exactly how they are feeling. Those are the moments that you wish you didn’t call and you know you can’t get away with saying, “oops wrong number!”

You can and do display an enormous amount of emotion through your tone. Whether you mean to, or not.  Your voice and the expressions that come with it are a very powerful tool for communicating. That can go one of two ways…1. A friendly and kind voice will win you friends and help you to influence people and 2. A dull, or frustrated tone will be picked up in a matter of seconds and a split decision will be made. That decision has to do with fight or flight, if we as humans get the signal not to trust something or someone we don’t. Its that simple.

It is worth the time and practice to cultivate a friendly tone. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Put it in your own world. What does a friendly voice sound like to you? Someone you know you can trust or rely on. Choose a celebrity or a character from a show who has a voice you would trust and pay attention to these things and keep practicing (it’s like building muscle):
    1. How is their tone?
    2. What is the speed of delivery?
    3. How are their facial expressions?
    4. What is their body language?
  2. Record yourself and listen to it over and over again. Don’t worry, we all cringe!
  3. Watch yourself speak (yes in the mirror)
    • Tip: Lose the facial expressions that don’t seem to make you look happy
  4. Listen to yourself objectively and make a note of your very first impression
    • Yes, before you start making excuses for yourself
  5. Smile
    • Always keep a smile on your face, it makes you appear friendlier and with enough practice it might just sink in!
  6. Ask a close friend or mentor their honest opinion of your tone with your before and afters!

Tone can mean a few things, but it usually comes down to attitude. 90% of the friction of daily life is caused by the wrong tone of voice.

The moral of the story is: What you say is very important but not as important as how you say it.

D.

 

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