Need a pick-me-up? Try smiling. Want to persuade others. Try smiling. Looking to book more meetings with c-level executives? Yep, you guessed it — try smiling.
Studies have shown that smiling has a whole range of positive effects on the brain, body, and emotional well-being. So it’s no wonder smiling has become a go-to tactic of sales pros.
If you smile during cold calls, you basically become a magnet for great conversations. And great conversations are absolutely necessary for deals to close.
Don’t believe me? Well today I’m not only going to discuss why smiling can help you crush your sales numbers, I’ll also have you do a little experiment so you can see for yourself just how powerful a simple smile can be.
So without further ado, here’s why you should smile while you dial.
Smiling Makes You Sound More Energetic
Energy and positive vibes win the day, every day. Ask anyone in the C-suite who they’d rather talk to — a monotone salesperson or a salesperson with charisma and energy — and they will choose the latter every time. When you smile on your cold calls, you transmit positive energy through the phone and it gets picked up by your prospects. It might sound funny, but they can hear your smile.
On the flip-side, when you don’t smile, you risk transmitting negative energy to your prospects. And don’t doubt for a second that millions of cold calls fail every year because the salesperson didn’t pass the positive vibe check. Smile to sound more positively energetic.
Smiling is Human
Smiling shows that you have personality, and C-level execs typically appreciate someone with personality. Smiling is also a very human thing to do. It’s important that we humanize ourselves as people — because honestly, some folks think salespeople are less-than-human. When we get on the phone, we want prospects to think, “Oh, a human!” and not “Oh, a salesperson.” Humans converse, connect, and build relationships. And that’s what sales is all about. So remember, smiling brings out the human in you, and the prospect loves to see it.
Smiling Breaks up the Monotony
C-level decision makers are in meetings most of the day. They call the shots on high-level projects and developments. Naturally, they have very little time to talk to cold callers. And they have even less time to talk to cold callers reading off a script like a robot. Get off script and smile, if for no other reason than it offers your prospect a break from the endless monotony of meetings and flatlined cold-call pitches. This is especially true later in the week, when c-level business leaders are thirsty for something different. Simply smile to become a refreshing glass of water in a dry desert.
Smiling Has a Positive Physiological Effect
Studies have shown that putting on a smile — even a fake smile — can improve your mood. And if we’re being honest, it’s good to have that cheat code in our back pocket. Ever have one of those days where nobody’s answering, or when they do answer it’s a gatekeeper who stonewalls you? Smiling can help you battle through those tough days. Showing those pearly whites can keep you motivated to push past rejection, which is one of the secrets in sales. (Remember, rejection is part of the process!) So if you can’t muster up an authentic smile, just fake it till you make it. Your mind, body, and soul will pick up on the cue and in return you’ll stay positive.
Smiling Improves Your Tone of Voice / Tonality
Try this experiment. Say this line in your non-smile default voice: “I can do 2pm or 4pm, which of those is better for you?” Now say it again and really listen to how it sounds. Next, I want you to say the same exact thing but this time while smiling. Now say it once more while smiling. Notice a difference? It’s undeniable that your tonality — your vocal rhythm, range, and pitch — sounds more upbeat and positive when you’re smiling. And that’s without even trying to improve your tonality! This goes to show that smiling during cold calling is critical to being perceived as confident and engaged.
To take the above experiment a step further, go ahead and record audio of yourself saying the phrase once while smiling and once without smiling. Then play it back and hear the difference. Better yet, share it with your co-workers and/or sales manager to see if they can detect a difference, and ask which one they are more drawn to. As they say, the proof is in the pudding.
Smiling is Contagious and Makes Your Prospect Smile
You can’t listen to someone who’s smiling and beaming with positive energy and not walk away smiling yourself. Our moods rub off on others, it’s just a fact of life. So use this to your advantage to make your prospects happy. A happy and engaged decision-maker is more likely to do business with you than one who is brooding and disengaged. And this is so obvious and evident that I don’t need to cite a study to back it up. Remember, smiling is contagious, so spread the happiness far and wide.
Is Smiling a Magic Bullet?
Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet in sales (other than maybe sheer drive and hustle, or mindset shifts). Just smiling on the phones won’t suddenly boost your set-rate by 500% or anything like that. But, you should take every advantage you can get. You should optimize your approach and make every tweak you can possibly make. Because it all adds up.
If you aren’t learning and applying new knowledge every day, then you’re losing ground — with yourself and your competitors and the industry. And dare I say you’re losing ground with your family, too. So while smiling is not a magic bullet, it’s an incremental improvement you can make today to become better at your life’s work. Take it and run with it!
Remember that smiling and dialing makes you sound more energetic and confident, it humanizes you, it breaks up the monotony for your prospect, it has an incredible physiological effect (improves your mood!), it improves your tonality to make you sound more confident and engaged, and it can even put your prospect in a better mood. That’s why we smile while cold calling. I even gave you a little experiment to try so that you can see for yourself the power that smiling holds.
So get out there and flex those mandible muscles to everyone who answers the phone, be it gatekeeper or CEO. Even if you have to fake it, you’ll be surprised at how far a simple smile can take you. Will it skyrocket your sales overnight? Maybe not. But it’s another winning tactic to put in your quiver. You’ll also want to add strategies and tactics like leveraging silence in sales, pattern interruption, selling value (not ROI), assumptive selling, failing forward, and others. But isn’t that what sales and life is all about? Constantly learning and growing and crushing our goals!
Until next time…