What are you doing when you’re on the phone? Do you sit still as you talk, or are you walking around? Me? I’m moving. Whether it’s a personal call or one for work, I can’t sit still. I usually pace back and forth flailing my arms around (clumsily to add) even though the person on the other end of the line can’t actually see me.
I’ve never really put much thought into it; I’ve always just attributed it to me being a rather expressive and spastic human being. I started asking myself, “Why am I doing this? Are there any benefits to these behaviors?”
As it turns out, when I started my outbound cold calling efforts, I learned that moving around CAN benefit you when maneuvering your way through conversations with prospects. So that got me thinking …how has pacing and gesturing helped me in my quest to elongate these conversations with my prospects?
Moving around on the phone has helped me slow down. Naturally, growing up in the Northeast, South Jersey to exact (coal mining country for all my Zoolander fans and also the better half of New Jersey, which is 100% two states, it’s pork roll, @ me!) we talk fast. We do because we have places to be, people to see, and no time for nonsense. Now, while maintaining that in your personal life is fine, bringing that energy onto a cold call can be counterproductive.
I say this, because pushing the pace and talking too fast can convey a few things:
1. It can come across as impatient.
2. You might sound like you’re reading from a script.
3. Your prospect can feel as if you’re talking at them and not listening.
All of these, especially my third point, can ruin your credibility with your prospect and your hopes of closing them. We hear it all too often, the biggest complaint of sales professionals… they don’t listen.
One of my favorite quotes from the movie Creed is Rocky explaining to Apollo, “You can’t learn anything when you’re talking. That’s a fact of life. As long as you’re talking, you’re not listening.”
Why would the prospect stay on the line if they’re not called on to participate? Through walking around and gesturing I’ve noticed I’ve been able to consciously slow the call down and talk at a more natural pace which allows me to absorb more of what the prospect is saying.
I’ve also found that walking around while on a call can also boost creative thinking. I noticed this difference in my objection handling when I take calls walking around vs. sitting down staying stationary. Since I have already slowed down and listened to what they say, my ability to craft responses to their various objections drastically improved. There is a more natural flow and it’s actually a conversation and not a sales pitch. Slow down the call, slow down your brain, and execute.
I’ve found that by standing I can better project my voice, which promotes a confident tone. I like to think of it as having swagger on the phone. Having that swag can earn you the right to have a conversation with the person on the other end of the line. At the end of the day, the prospect does not want to waste their time; they want to interact with competent individuals and if they’re even going to grant you a minute of their time, you must seize that opportunity. Through slowing the call down, projecting, and being deliberate in your messaging, you will ooze confidence and moving around can help you achieve just that.
So, for those of you who usually stay seated throughout your calling blocks, try getting up and moving around. It may truly help you interact better with your prospects and if all else fails, at least you’ll be a little bit closer to hitting your daily step goal.