For a good portion of my adult life, I have made a living off of talking on the phone. The first place I found employment after college was at a telemarketing agency. (Yes, I was one of those people. ) Later, I worked as receptionist/legal assistant for several Orlando law firms. Currently, I am blessed to have a second job as weekend receptionist for a local water park.
Smiling over the phone makes a big difference in how people react and interact with you. You want them to interact with you, not react. When they are merely reacting to you there is a greater chance that the conversation will turn unpleasant.
So, I choose to smile. I believe that they know when I am smiling; that I am genuinely delighted to be talking to them and want to help them.
Smiles really do have sounds; it is the lightness of the tone bordering on a giggle but not crossing over. The trick is the smile has to come from your heart. You have to find it; visual cues help.
As a telemarketer, I had a small stuffed Hokie Bird on my desk. You can’t help but smile when you look at it. For those of who don’t know, a Hokie bird is a castrated male turkey according to some, but more commonly it is the mascot of VA Tech, my Alma-mater. At my part time job, there is the mascot of the theme park sit. When I have to make phone calls home I have a wall of pictures & drawings by my desk. The smiling faces of my nieces and nephews, past students and their babies as well as old friends look down on me.
When I pick up the phone, I am happy they called after all if they didn’t call I won’t have a job. One that I need to help me reach my financial goals. One day, I won’t need to work the summers and I
Smiles are also incredibly contagious. The smile a guest hears over the phones may make them excite to come to the park. It also helps me get through the day. Working on the weekends can be very draining. Smiling is energizing and freeing.
I smile even when I am tired. Sometimes, I don’t feel like smiling, the world and my hear is blue. That is when I remember how I feel when someone smiles at me, just because our eyes happen to meet. So many bad days have cease to have their power over me thanks to those stranger’s smiles.