Establishing Rapport on the Phone

Communication is much more than the words we use. We communicate verbally and non-verbally.

Only 7% of our communication is verbally, through the words we use while 93% of our communication is non-verbally through our tonality (38%) and physiology (55%).

When talking on the phone, it is important to remember that there is more to think about than the words we use. It is even more important to consider how we speak.

When people are like each other, they tend to like each other. As such, we want to communicate with others in a “likeable” way.


Remember, only 7% of the meaning is derived from the words we use.


Follow these 3 tips for better communication over the phone:

  1. Adjust your speed. People tend to speak at different speeds. Adjust your speed to the speed the other person is speaking in. When the other person speaks rather slow, you too want to slow done your speaking, so that your speed matches the other person’s speed. When the other person speaks rather fast, speed up the way you speak, or you may risk the other person losing interest.
  2. Use the same representational system. There are 4 different representational systems (Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic and Auditory Digital), and we all have a favorite one. These representational systems are indicative of the word we use. They might see, listen, touch or experience something and we want to communicate in the same representational system as the other person. Do we want them to look at something from our perspective, listen to what we say, ask them how they feel about something or maybe have them experience something?
  3. Adjust your Tone (Pitch) properly. Depending on your tonality, the other person might decide whether they trust or doubt you. Whether they have confidence in you or lack confidence. When you raise your pitch toward the end of a sentence, what you said is perceived to be a question. When your pitch remains the same throughout the sentence, it is perceived to be a statement. To speak in a commanding tone, lower your pitch towards the end of the sentence.

It takes practice and repetition to acquire these skills so that you do them automatically whenever you speak with someone.

To get started, focus on one of these 3 areas every time you pick up the phone.

Remember, although they cannot see you, they can still hear your facial expression, posture and gestures.

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