August focus: Domestic Cleaning Service
Becoming a Good Conversationalist
Since making your client comfortable with you is dependent upon conversation, here are a few thoughts which will help toward making you a better conversationalist, which you will be rewarded for in your earnings. You already know this information intuitively, but why not review it anyway?
The definition of conversation is ‘an interchange of thoughts by spoken words’. Two people need to be involved in order to have a conversation. The best way I could describe it is to say it is like a game of tennis – one person hits the ball over the net to the other so that they may hit it back. Conversation is not a monologue. It is an exchange of ideas. Give the other person the opportunity to talk too.
When the other person is given the opportunity to talk, be a good listener. Merely keeping quiet is no indication that you are listening. Look at the one speaking and show a definite interest in what is said, and ‘hear’ what they are saying. Don’t let your mind wander off somewhere else.
If you are able to listen right to the end of the remark that your client is making you are showing good conversation skills. Do not interrupt another when he or she is speaking – let them finish what they are saying.
This is a sure way of creating a feeling that you do not care about the other person or what they have to say. It will definitely make your client feel uncomfortable. Also, refrain from arguments. To tell a client that they are wrong (even when you think that they are) is no way to keep them as a client. Besides, on some issues who is to say who is right and who is wrong? Some issues are very much based on the viewpoint of the person seeing them, and sometimes there are no definite right or wrong answers to things. In cases where you must, there are ways of correcting the impression of the client without even intimating that they might be wrong. This calls upon your resourcefulness.
During the conversation ask questions. It is always complimentary to a speaker to have his or her listener ask them questions regarding the subject of their conversation. It shows them that you are interested in what they have to say. However, it is important that you never gossip. It is always a temptation to pass on some bit of ‘juicy’ news about someone or something else, or even your own life. Don’t do it! Gossip doesn’t belong in your cleaning business. In fact, it doesn’t belong anywhere and it’s just as harmful to the gossiper as it is to the person being talked about. You have a limited amount of time to perform your work, so don’t waste it on gossip.
And finally, eliminate gloom from your conversation. We all have so many troubles of our own that it’s refreshing to talk to one who confines his or her remarks to cheerful, constructive topics.
Using Your Voice
When you meet a person for the first time, on what characteristics are your impressions formed? In answering this question you might consciously think of many things such as age, size, dress and so forth. This, of course, would not be totally correct. Yes, through your powers of observation you noticed all of these things, but your impressions (whether they are good or bad) were based upon the person’s eyes and their voice.
If the person had cold, unfriendly eyes and an uninteresting voice, regardless of how well versed they may be on the work that they were doing or the topic that they were discussing, they would not get very far. Well, at least not as far as making the client comfortable enough to continue to use their service and to sell them other types of service as well.
There is no need to take up space here in discussing the eyes and how to develop friendly ones, because as soon as you follow the suggestions given regarding the voice you will automatically develop the type of eyes belonging to a magnetic personality.
Developing a Magnetic Voice
In radio, one’s personality is built almost entirely around the voice. Our likes and dislikes for the characters we hear are based far more on the impression the voice makes than no the words we hear. This being true, it’s easy to understand how important the voice is to people in business for themselves. A friendly, confidence-inspiring voice will prove to be one of their greatest assets.
As much as we might envy the one with a pleasant musical voice, it will be good to know that such a voice is not difficult to acquire. A few rules are given here, and if you will follow them you will discover, to your pleasure, that you are developing the type of voice that will impress others and inspire confidence. Since it’s true that a service provider in business first sells himself or herself, you will find that the right type of voice will aid you in making the right first impression.
RULE 1: Become voice conscious. This doesn’t mean that you should become self-conscious with regards to your voice, but know you will constantly be taking steps toward improving your voice, and that it is daily becoming better. Be discerning in respect to the voices of others. Study them. If you like a voice ascertain why so that you will learn what you might do to improve yours. If you do not care for a voice, also discover why, then you will have learned some of the conditions you must avoid insofar as your own voice is concerned.
RULE 2: A voice of warmth is always pleasing to the ear – and one with such a voice invariably makes greater progress in an initial meeting with someone than the one with a cold or harsh voice. Our vocal cords determine the timbre of the voice; our heart reflects the quality. A heart of love will give warmth to the voice. A heart filled with hatred, envy, suspicion, anger, and so forth, will be evident though a cold unpleasant voice. To have affection with those that you come into contact with would add to your personality. This affection will also give
a quality of warmth to your voice.
Approach your client with genuine friendliness – whether you have ever seen him or her before or not. That affection will be noticeable in your voice. This is one change you can make right now; the results are immediate, and the change will reflect to your credit in the number of clients that you have.
RULE 3: Develop a musical voice. Just as singing is musical, so too can a speaking voice be musical. A monotonous voice is not only unpleasant to hear, but it is tiring as well. It’s easy to follow a well-modulated voice because the emphasis carries the meaning as well as the words. But with a monotonous voice one must consciously follow every word in order not to lose the trend of thought. Needless to say, a monotonous voice is also very boring.
Practice reading aloud. While doing so give proper emphasis and shading to every word. A noticeable improvement will be made in a remarkably short time. While reading aloud, be careful of your articulation. Do not slur your words by chopping off letters and syllables. ‘Give me’ should not be pronounced ‘gimme’; ‘Don’t you’ should not be pronounced ‘doncha’; nor is ‘pudding’ pronounced ‘puddin’. Such careless pronunciation results from faulty speech habits. However, you will quickly lose this tendency as you practice reading aloud.
A husband and wife can make outstanding improvement in their voices by reading aloud to each other. They could obtain books of mutual interest and take turns in reading chapters to each other, putting all the expression they can into every word they read.
It is next to impossible to concentrate on any one means of self-improvement without having it benefit you in many ways other than the original objective. For example the exercises here recommended would not only make a vast improvement in your voice, but will also be reflected in you face. Your features will light up with a new radiance as you give life to the thoughts you are expressing. There is never a ‘deadpan’ expression on the face of the person with a well-modulated voice.
Here is another thought regarding the voice and manner of speaking. Do not talk too fast or too slow; the former is hard to understand, and the latter is too boring to follow.
You can read more in the next article about: How to Improve Your Memory
Free From the Gilded Cage is the education arm of the Loving Heart Foundation Australia where we teach the basics of self-employment and basic budgeting skills. This is so that women can learn the skills needed to manage their own lives without feeling trapped in a relationship with a man who is beating them up. With these skills they can easily leave him.
Update: The first novel in our series of seven written to raise funds for those whom we assist is now published. It is the courageous story of a young teen growing up in a home filled with domestic violence, and how she manoeuvres her way through such a difficult situation. Click here if you’d like to know more about this novel.
Click here if you’d like to be taken to the site where you can purchase this novel.