The Art of Change Skills for Life

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Back to Work, It’s The Art of Persuasion On The Phone

March 2, 2009 Persuasion 0

After spending just short of two weeks with my family in Cincinnati Ohio, I’ve now returned to my home, I’m back in my office, and today I resume the blog post series about the art of persuasion over the phone.   We’re discussing identifiable keys to making a connection over the phone, with the idea that a determined but limited use of just a few of these can carry your persuasive signals a long way.  They aren’t just limited to the phone, however.  They’re powerful connectors in any communication context.  

It’s a good day for me to write about this.  I have two new potential coaching clients waiting for callbacks, and a speaking gig prospect wanting a return call as well.  I’m getting my head back into the communication zone, and I hope that this blog series helps you to do the same. 

Make a positive connection by matching these voice characteristics:Match VOICE VOLUME

Some people talk louder than others, others speak more quietly.  Loud talkers may be hard of hearing, and quiet talkers may not know how hard they are to hear.  But once you hear a person’s voice volume, you can talk at a similar volume to create that sense of common ground so necessary for a connection to take place.  Remember, you don’t have to be as loud or quiet as the person you’re talking with.  Still, in the art of persuasion, reducing differences makes the difference. 

My Dad is hard of hearing.  You can see it by the way he constantly fiddles with his hearing aids.  During my recent time with him,  I had to learn to speak at a much louder volume that the one to which I’m normally accustomed, both in person, and over the phone when I called him while out running errands for him.  Yet after less than a day of this, it became completely normal.  Human beings are remarkably adaptable like that. The key to blending voice volume is to first notice it, then match it.  In this way, the message comes through loud and clear, even when talking quietly.  “I’m with you.” 

Match TALKING SPEED

Some people talk faster than others, others talk slower.  Fast talkers may get frustrated with slow talkers, slow talkers may feel insulted or untrusting with fast talkers.   Talk at a similar pace as the person on the other end of the call, you’ll find it easier to get and maintain that positive connection! 

During my visit home, we received numerous calls from friends across the country.  The sheer quantity of calls made the difference in speaking speed incredibly obvious.  And this obvious characteristic provides a powerful opportunity to reduce differences and send the signal, “I’m with you.” 

Match SPEAKING RHYTHM

You’ll find it easier to maintain confidence and speak with ease by hearing and matching the rhythm of the person you are talking with. Some people speak with in flowing sentences, one idea leading naturally to the next; others speak with gaps and hesitation.  Flowing speech may sound arrogant and out of reach to the person who doesn’t have that way with words.  And gaps and hesitation sound like a lack of confidence to the person who speaks with ease.   

But what if you have no sense of rhythm?  That’s the beauty of matching.  The person you’re talking with is your guide.  Do your best, and you send that important signal, “I’m with you.”

And while I’m once again with you, I’d love to get a few signals that you’re still with me.  Comments are not just welcome, they’re greatly appreciated.  Oh, and if you’ve considered finding a coach to help you take your skills to the next level, this is a good week to call me, 541.488.2992, to schedule a free consultation.   I’ll be back to the blog in a couple of days.

Be well,

Rick

 

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