1. Ask a few friends or colleagues to listen to the tape of your script. Ask them to evaluate it by the following criteria: Listen for warmth and passion in your voice. Do you sound interesting? Convincing? Confident? Is your speech clear, professional and pleasant? How is the rhythm and pacing of your speech? Do you sound angry, tired, tentative or bored? Is your speaking voice nasal, a monotone or singsong? Do you speak too fast or too slow? Do you mumble? Compare your friends’ or colleagues’ evaluations with your own. This way, you will know how others perceive you. It may be different from your self-perception. Work on improving what you may need to improve. Try to work on just one element at a time. Otherwise, it can be overwhelming.
2. Building rapport with your prospect starts with you and your prospect. Think about it-do you enjoy speaking with someone who is thinking about something else and not about your conversation? Of course, you don’t! People can sense when someone is not paying attention-your prospect will be able to tell whether you are focusing totally on your interaction with them or whether your mind is elsewhere. Do your preparation, so that you can focus on your prospect.
3. Salespeople frequently are told to be “enthusiastic,” but merely forcing enthusiasm will make you sound phony. Enthusiasm comes from within. It comes from integrity, believing in your product and/or service and being real. If you believe in what you are selling and are prepared, you will not sound phony.
4. Projection is when your prospect says something and you hear something else. It is vitally important not to read extra meaning into statements made by prospects. Remember, your priorities and those of your prospect are not the same. Your number-one priority, of course, is getting in the door and, ultimately, making the sale. But that is not your prospect’s number-one priority.