As a salesman for over 45 years and a voracious learner, there’s not too many sales techniques left for me to absorb that will make a dramatic impact on my performance. So I’ve investigated other disciplines like psychology, NLP, creative writing, public speaking, storytelling, voice over and most recently, acting. However, voice over has been the most powerful as it has affected several facets of my sales process.
Salespeople are notoriously bad on the phone because they lose the senses of sight and touch. This creates an unknown and instills anxiety. For some reason, this causes them to race through a call, anticipating a hang-up any minute. Little do they realize that their fears are not unfounded but mostly created by their unprofessional manner, ill prepared words and lackadaisical speech patterns. I have learned to key in on the hearing sense, using the phone as a mic, along with a simple script, breathing, timely pauses and modulation. The exact antithesis of a normal sales call. These are even more important when leaving a voicemail message which many times tend to be garbled, rushed and fodder for the delete button. My success ratio using simple voice over skills has increased exponentially.
90% of a logical presentation will be forgotten after 30 minutes and almost 100% in twenty four hours. Whereas a story, even one told badly, could be remembered for months. There is a reason religions are taught in parables and last for centuries. Humans are hard wired to learn by story. In addition, entertainment is a big part of our lives and competition salespeople rarely if ever consider. People are bored faster today. Movies, TV, computers, cell phones and most advance forms of corporate communication all use some form of entertainment to attract and keep your attention.To make your story compelling, voice over skills, especially caricature voices, accents and body language can make an incredible, memorable difference. Listen to Joel Osteen and Ronald Reagan speak and you will understand. There is not one part of any business presentation or conversation that can’t be improved by a well told story.
If business people, but especially salespeople, learned even rudimentary voice over skills, people would immediately take notice. The fun part is they won’t know why, but getting noticed in a world where thousands of ideas collide per second is an important start to a successful business relationship.