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Prospecting Wake Up Call: People Judge You at Hello

The Importance of First Hello Technology: Any experienced real estate prospector knows that even a few moments of awkward silence at the beginning of a call using a predictive dialer can kill your chances of landing a new customer.



Remember that famous “You Had Me at Hello” scene in that Tom Cruise and Renee Zellweger movie, “Jerry Maguire?”

It turns out that those lovebirds were unintentionally sharing critical advice to real estate agents who depend on prospecting for new clients.

A new study by Glasgow University in Scotland and Princeton University have determined that it takes only 500 milliseconds (or a half-second) to make a positive or negative impression on the telephone. Researchers have found that people will judge how trustworthy you are — whether you are worth their time — within the first syllable of the word “Hello.”

According to the London Daily Mail, researchers played recordings of different voices saying “hello” and asked study participants to rank them on 10 personality traits including trustworthiness, dominance, attractiveness, and warmth.

From the Daily Mail:

“The study found that males who raised their tone and women who alternated the pitch of their voices are seen as more trustworthy.

Dominance is partly indicated by lowering the pitch, but more so by changes in ‘formant dispersion’, which are adjustments of your voice caused by the structure of your throat.

The fact that the human mind is capable of coming to these conclusions so quickly and irrespective of visual cues implies that this is an ability that may have evolved in our recent history when decisions on who to trust and approach were crucial to our species’ survival.”

Researchers say their results may influence how businesses approach communicating with strangers who are not face-to-face, even in the situation of a train conductor making announcements to passengers over a loudspeaker. Of course, the implications for anyone who makes sales calls are tremendous.

People decide whether they want to listen to you within the first 500 milliseconds of hearing your voice!

While it might be common sense that using an upbeat tone of voice versus a deep authoritative one is more friendly and engaging, there may be other factors determining how you are judged that are not immediately obvious.

Some popular auto dialers on the market today have a brief but awkward delay between the moment a person picks up the phone till they hear your friendly voice. From the other end of the phone line, that silence is considered annoying and instantly telegraphs this undesirable message: “I am being called/bothered by a robot.”

In the words of New York real estate broker Ray Cooper – those technical lags in your daily calls should be unacceptable.

“That One-Mississippi delay throws everything out of synch,” he revealed. “If I’m going to dance with you for the first time, I want to make sure that I’m not stepping on your toes.”

ProspectBoss’s multi-line power dialer makes sure that real estate agents aren’t stepping on potential customers’ toes. Homeowners hear your voice the instant they pick up the phone.

As for how you say “Hello,” that’s totally up to you!



ProspectBoss Team

We cater to Real Estate & Insurance agents but love seeing clients from all industries using our solution successfully.  From lead generation and tracking, to CRM and data resources, we’ve got the solution for all your dialing needs. 

Call our Sales team at 800-662-4009 or send us an email to

We look forward to hearing from you!

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