February 24, 2018

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Eight Steps to Phone Power

Your voice paints a mental picture that clients and candidates take away with them long after they get off of the phone with you. That's all they have to go on. They are creating a mental picture of what you look and act like and how you do business, all based on what they hear coming out of your mouth. The telephone is a powerful tool because of that. You have the freedom to create whatever image you like over the phone, and your voice is one way to help add credibility to your phone calling.

Here are eight steps to help add more credibility with your voice:

  1. Stand up. You have more energy and power coming out of your mouth if you are standing up in a powerful position compared to sitting down. If you are sitting, not as much oxygen is going through your body, so stand up. It gives you energy and you can get into a power state of mind, and put more "oomph" in your voice. People respond to enthusiastic energy, and to get an extra dose of it, stand up.

  2. Put your hands at your hips when you start the conversation, feet shoulder-width apart. This powerful body language will put you in a power state of mind, and helps give extra energy over the telephone. It will also add to your confidence level.

  3. Wave your hands when you talk, gesticulating and accentuating your vocal expressiveness with your hands. Another way to add energy and enthusiasm to your speech. Let it loose and see how more descriptive you are.

  4. Smile when you talk to the other person. Put some flirt in your voice. This helps build rapport and creates a sense of likeability between you and the other person. Put the smile in your voice only when rapport has been built. (see the articles on my site from previous weeks for steps to creating rapport).

  5. Watch upward inflections. Remember the song "Valley Girl" with Moon Zappa? The inflection of her voice at the end of every sentence went in an upward direction, as if she was asking a question. This upward inflection gives you a sense of perceived weakness, so make sure that whenever you answer a question, make sure it doesn't sound like you're asking one.

  6. Tape record your calls. How do you sound on the phone? Do you sound like someone you would want to talk to? Sure, hotshot, you probably think you sound great. I used to think I sounded great also. But then I recorded my calls and I heard how many times I sounded like a sloppy freak. I wish you could have been there when a prospective client called me to give me a search assignment. I gave my little shpeal about my business and why he should work with me, and at the end of my eighty second presentation, he said, "Scott, did you know you said the word "uh" fifty-five times just now?" He wasn't listening to what I was saying. Instead, he was sitting there with a pen in his hand marking tick marks on a piece of paper, counting the number of times I said the word "uh". Doh! Invest forty bucks in your future and get a voice recorder from Radio Shack. In most states as long as one person knows the call is being is recorded, it's legal. (I am not an attorney and do not give legal advice, so seek legal counsel to verify your state and federal laws).

  7. If you say the word 'uh' at the end of your sentences, then focus on saying the last syllable of every sentence. This just means that your brain operates faster than your mouth and that you get ahead of yourself, so the word 'uh' is just used as filler. By focusing on saying the last syllable of your words, you will remove this filler from your vocabulary.

  8. Warm up. Drink hot water or another hot drink to loosen up your vocal chords in the morning. Don't drink cold drinks when you are on the phone.

Two Bonus Tips:

  1. Use a headset. If you have been in the business more than a day, you've figured out that a headset is a necessity to staying on the phone all day. Try it once and you'll never go back.

  2. When you are on the phone, imagine that you are on the top floor of the tallest building in town, and that your office is filled with gold, marble, and fine persian rugs. Just sound like you have high overhead, and people will think you do. Elevate the way you think about yourself and people will respond in kind. Think of yourself as a big biller, and everyone you talk to will respond as if you are already at that level of achievement.

One final free tip:

If you have not yet read Stephen Shiffman's book on cold calling, you have GOT to read it. His book information is on my recommended reading list (you can access that by going to "Recruiters Resources" on my site). This book will change your life. I first saw him at a convention in 1995 and have been using his techniques ever since.

-Scott Love

Copyright 2005 Scott T. Love

Scott Love improves the performance of recruiters and the margins of search firms and staffing agencies. His training website,, has become one of the largest free internet training sites for the industry. To have him show your staff how to produce more than they thought possible, call him at 828-225-7700.