Survey Reveals Link Between Accent and a Salesperson’s Success Rate


Scottish is the most attractive accent in Britain, according to a new study from TollFreeForwarding.com.

People across the UK were quizzed over which accent they found to be the most attractive, with 15% agreeing that Scottish is the most appealing, followed by Queen’s English (13%) and Geordie (13%). The least favourite accents were found to be Brummie and Mancunian.

As well as regional accents, respondents were asked which worldwide accent they liked the best, with over a third (34%) modestly voting the British accent as the most charming, followed by Irish (15%), and French (12%).

The UK public were also asked how this would impact the chances of them speaking to a salesperson, with an impressive 57% claiming they’d chat to someone trying to sell them something if they had their preferred accent.

Business psychologist Kim Stephenson from TamingThePound.com explained that accents are closely connected to a person’s status, with received pronunciation (RP) typically associated with competence.

It is an educated type of speech commonly associated with southern England and viewed by many as the stereotypical English accent, and Mr Stephenson suggests it can leave a particularly positive impression.

“If you go to an accountant with a low-status accent you probably won’t believe he’s good enough, but an RP accountant is obviously competent. So, if you’re talking about things like newsreaders, call centres etc, it helps to have high-status people,” Mr Stephenson explained.

However, there is more to sales than an appealing accent, as the length of a call can increase the probability of success for telesales workers.

Ryan O’Hara, Sales Director of Business Process Outsourcing at Frontline Group, said: “The metric that we typically look for in an inside sales team is talk time. We’ve found that the higher an agent’s talk time, the greater the likelihood they meet or exceed quota.”

He continued by saying that more calls get converted if they have a longer talk time, as spending more time on the phone often suggests a customer is reviewing an order and preparing to finalise a purchase.

Jason O’Brien, Chief Operating Officer at TollFreeForwarding.com, said: “Half the battle of telesales is being able to talk to potential customers without being shut down within the first 30 seconds, so we wanted to see if accents had an effect on people’s willingness to stay on the phone and chat to a salesperson.”

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Published On: 13th Nov 2017 - Last modified: 14th Nov 2018
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