People can “hear” you smile when you talk with them on the phone. A recent study confirmed that you sound different or better when you smile.

Smiling affects how we speak. Listeners can actually detect your smile based on sound alone according to a new study by the University of Portsmouth. The study determined that some people have “smilier” voices than others. All in all, people prefer to listen to people with happier voices; thus, they are more receptive to listening to a sales pitch from a happy voice on the phone.

In a nutshell when we listen to speech we hear the general pitch and people associate a rise in pitch with more “smiley sounding voices”. We might also be picking up on more subtle cues like how intense the voice is. A person with a naturally short vocal tract may therefore sound more smiley than others at all times. The research adds to the growing body of evidence that smiling and other expressions pack a strong informational punch and may even impact us on a subliminal level.

What this means to people selling over the phone is that the customer is more aware of our engagement and disposition than what was previously thought. Does this mean if you smile while selling you will sell more? It may be so.

One technique that I have used over the years when selling on the phone is to look at a photo of person. Don’t laugh, but I had a photo of President Reagan posted on my office wall and used his picture as the image my customer. His smiling face made me smile back—which must have made me sound happier.

This makes me wonder if you can tell that I am smiling as I write this blog?

John Bradley Jackson
© Copyright 2008 All rights reserved.

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