Which Comes First…the Smile or the Dial?

Smiling businessman talking on cell phone 4Chances are you have heard the expression “Keep smiling and dialing!” The premise behind that idea is that when you speak to someone over the phone, the person on the other end can sense a “vibe” from you that is either positive or negative—and there is no neutral. If it’s not positive, it’s negative. In the absence of light, there is only darkness; there is no in-between.

So it begs the question: when you are making calls, how do you make others feel? Indeed, only those people whom you are calling can truly answer that question. So it leaves only you: how do you feel when you make calls? Are you truly smiling when dialing? I don’t mean just smiling on the surface, but on the inside as well?

Here’s the deal: one of the obstacles we face in working the phone is the belief that we are intruding on people. In fact, when I was spending much of my time calling on people who were also sales professionals, I was amazed at how many of them will go out of their way to give me that impression.

Here’s the awful truth: You are not intruding. Indeed, you are servicing. When you call on a prospect, you are attempting to provide a service. You are working the phone to spread joy to others—albeit even if only for a few moments (and your interaction is with your prospect’s assistant).

Phone work is only grueling if you make it so. Don’t make it so. Make it fun. After all, you never know what may sprout up from those random attempts to engage new people. Sure, some people will be rude; others will even hang up on you. That is their problem, not yours. But if you are professional, positive, joyful and energetic, others will pick up on it and respond accordingly.

Can’t be positive, joyful and energetic? Then fake it.

Sit up straight; smile on the outside. Get up and stretch. Focus on what you can control—which is your physiology, and that will impact how you feel. Before you know it, you won’t be faking anymore. You will be positive, joyful and energetic for real!

I always love it when I call on a person who is a real pro. I remember calling on a broker and asked for a moment of his time. His response was, “I always have a moment to speak with someone new.”

Another time, I made a call, and guess what…my number on file was wrong! Did the person on the other end be rude and hang up? Not in the least! I apologized and said cheerfully, “Have a great day!”

He replied, “I always do.” That’s the spirit!

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