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Hypnosis, on the contrary to common belief, is not necessarily done through eye-contact. Voice plays a strong part in hypnosis tricks. How can it be useful to my daily phone-calls, you ask? Well, even if these techniques are used mainly for the show, they rely on true convincement and persuasion tricks. Indeed: hypnosis is a powerful psychological tool – and marketing is all about psychology. Here is how you can use hypnosis to improve your telephone conversations with customers, either when doing support, sales, or cold-calling.
Listen to this 3-min podcast if you want to get the jist of the article and hear examples of our tricks!
Convince your customers that “Everything is gonna be just fine”
Which is also basically what hypnosis is supposed to convince you to believe (unless you’re facing a bad, bad person). Well, that is what your customers want to hear when they call your support line for a problem, or when you happen to have the product that will drastically improve their lives. The key is to use arguments that seem perfectly logical to illustrate what you’re saying. Do not use words like “I believe”, but base your arguments on external, objective elements: this will work on your customers’ persuasion on a subconscious level.
For instance, use logical connectors to structure your argumentation: “as”, “because”, “that is why”. In this great post on Kissmetrics’ blog, “3 hypnotic power words”, Bnonn Tennant asserts that “Because” is actually a hypnotic word and gives a pretty convincing example:
This is expertly illustrated by Robert Cialdini in Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, where he cites a study you’ve probably heard of, performed by Ellen Langer at Harvard. Langer asked to push in line at the library to photocopy some papers:
“Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I’m in a rush?”- The number of people who agreed: 94%.
“Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?” – The number of people who agreed: 60%.
You’d be inclined to think the difference was because of the reason she gave. But a further experiment indicated otherwise…
“Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make some copies?”
The number of people who agreed: 93%. Notice that no real reason was given this time—obviously, everyone waiting for the Xerox machine had to make copies. Yet nearly as many people agreed as when a real reason was given.
These techniques are often used by politicians. For instance, in his Denver acceptance speech, Obama declared: “We need change” – an assertion with which pretty much everyone would agree to – and added “that is why I will become your next president”, creating a logical link between the two assertions.
Tip #1: improve customer support by using logical arguments to illustrate your answers.
Listen to your customers carefully and engage with questions
In order to determine what kind of personality you are and what types of hypnosis a professional will use, hypnotists often start by asking subtle questions. Indeed, the key to tell what your customers want to hear more is to let them talk so you can understand them better. Even more importantly, you should manage your timing so they don’t get the feeling they’re giving away too much information without getting something in return.
Be aware, though, not to comment so often that it seems you are just interjecting the same phrases like “I see,” “right,” “OK” without really listening.
When you feel you have gained some sympathy from your customers, engage them with questions – the reason for asking is to encourage your interlocutor to tell how good they feel: it makes this feeling stronger.
Tip #2: engage with meaningful questions to your customers to gain sympathy
Find a “happy place” for your customers
Hypnotists often let you slip into a “happy place” of your own by telling you a story. This is very important when phoning your customers – even more than other means of communication such as emails – because you are taking a very valuable amount of their time to talk with them. Always remember that people like to hear a story and feel they understand its whereabouts.
Here is a great example found in Ryan Hoover’s article “What’s missing from your growth hacking strategy?”
Every Thursday, Dan Martell, CEO of Clarity, picks up the phone to call 25 to 30 users and asks how the company can make a better product to suit that user’s needs. Dubbed “smile and dial,” he gathers direct feedback but he isn’t just doing customer development—he’s inspiring word of mouth. How often do you receive a phone call from a company that isn’t trying to directly sell something? Almost never. Dan delights his users with genuine interest and conversation. This manual, human touch is memorable and sharable.
Tip #3: storytelling is central to a successful phonecall with customers
Watch your tone
Ever heard the saying “bewitching voice”? Some people get the gift of a voice that would make anybody do anything, just like a spell… And most hypnotists get this gift, only they work for it. Forget pinching voices and speaking fast: your #1 concern is to enunciate, speak at a rather slow pace, lower your tone, smile, and sound confident.
Stressing certain words also changes the meaning or the tone you give to certain sentences. For instance, here is an example with the phrase “What would you like us to do about it?”
Say it defensively (emphasizing the words “would you”): “What would you like us to do about it?”
Say it with curiosity (emphasizing the words “like us”): “What would you like us to do about it?”
Say it with apathy (not emphasizing any of the words): “What would you like us to do about it?”
From Improving your inflection on the phone.
Being aware of this technique can help you a lot on working on your tone.
Tip #4: a slow and clear voice can make you sound more confident to your customers
Hypnosis sessions all start by a long series of breathing exercises. These exercises, like yoga, basically aim at relaxing you. During our work-day, we rarely take the time to focus on breathing, arguing that it is no priority to our productivity. Well, knowing that just a few but regular deep breaths can lower your oxygen consumption, get you more energized, repair cells faster, decrease stress and anxiety, and ultimately, increase your empathy, don’t you wanna give it a try?
Before picking up any phone-call, just take a long breath to start fresh.
When hesitating on an answer over the phone, consider pausing as a valuable moment: it gives you time to gather your ideas and relieve the stress rush. Both of these tips just require the time-span of a breath, about 2 to 3 seconds.
Tip #5: breathing is no waste of time when phoning your customers
Want to see that in practice? Give us call. We’ll try to do our best to hypnotize you…