Britons 'change accents to get ahead in sales'


A London or south-east English accent is seen as the best accent to have to get ahead in sales and customer service, according to a new poll.

Around 33 per cent of the British business professionals questioned by telecoms company ntl:Telewest said that they thought that a London or south-east accent was the best for progression in this field, while 54 per cent thought the accent was the ideal one for the world of finance.

The study found that two thirds of respondents confessed to being 'accent chameleons' and changing their accent while at work.

Younger workers were the most likely to change their accents, with 71 per cent of under 30-year-olds prepared to do so, compared to 61 per cent of over 50s.

Creative director of office power consultancy Politics at Work, Mike Phipps said: "In business, as in life, the greatest success is often achieved by those with the best rapport and ability to adjust their body language and language patterns to most closely mirror those of people they speak to and work with."

A Liverpool accent was voted the best accent for telling jokes in the workplace by those outside the Liverpool region, although Liverpudlians themselves felt that their accent was the 'least trustworthy' for business in the UK.

Related categories: Sales / Purchasing / Marketing.

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