You have spent hundreds of hours perfecting your sales pitch. You have researched your market and acquired a deep understanding of your potential buyer. However, your prospects don’t seem to be interested when you speak with them on the phone.
Even if you feel confident, your vocal communication might be betraying you. Often how you sound and come across doesn’t come down to the words you say, but how you say them.
What is vocal tonality?
Your voice is a tool. It can help you close more deals, or it can lose you business depending how you use it in conversation. There are two elements to vocal tonality that you need to understand before you work to improve them:
A. Tone inflection
Tone inflection refers to the way you vary your tone throughout your conversations. It refers to such things as:
- Lowering your voice to end a declarative sentence
- Raising your tone to show excitement/asking a question
- Speaking slower to indicate sadness
To ensure an effective sales pitch or phone call, you must keep the buyer’s attention. To keep their attention, you must change your inflection throughout.
B. Vocal energy
Fast bursts of vocal energy can show excitement or anger. Slow, calculated vocal energy can show thoughtfulness or even utter boredom.
So before you say anything, it’s essential to define the energy you want to bring to the conversation and then deliver with that style.
So now that we know that inflection and energy make up your vocal inflection, how can we leverage these tools to become more attractive to our buyers?
The Importance of Voice Tonality in Sales
When selling, you must start by selling yourself. You must genuinely believe in your product before you’ll convince anyone else to buy from you.
Think about it, would you buy from a salesperson who doesn’t seem to believe what they’re pitching to you?
If you call a prospect and your vocal tonality or body language suggests that you are unsure of yourself, the prospect will pick up on this lack of confidence in an instant. No one wants to buy from someone who sounds bored, disinterested, or unsure of themselves. Using the right tone and being specific with the words you use however can build dramatic amounts of rapport, fast.
6 Powerful Selling Tonal Patterns
Tonality in sales can be broken into six different patterns. The pattern you use will depend on your relationship with your prospective client, what you wish to gain from the conversation, and where your client is on the sales journey.
Here are the six categories that makeup voice tonality in sales.
You can use this tone to make a prospective buyer feel the need to make a decision quickly when talking to them. For instance, you can express concern that the client will miss out on an offer unless they act fast.
To build scarcity, lower your voice, slow down your delivery and tell your lead in an urgent tone that they need to act now.
There are three types of scarcity that you can create to help speed up the client’s decision-making process:
- Verbal scarcity: You create scarcity through words that you’re delivering. So, for example, you can say, “We only have one of this model left.”
- Tonal scarcity: You can create tonal scarcity by lowering your voice, slowing your delivery, and adding power to it.
- Informational scarcity: For instance, in the previous example you could say “there is only one of this model left” and then add that “no one else knows that there is only one left.” This informational scarcity makes your prospect feel like they are getting privileged information and might push them to make a decision faster.
Using a reasonable tone makes potential buyers feel like you are on the same side as them. It makes your leads feel like you relate to their point of view. It makes your buyer feel confident and can speed up the entire sales process.
To sound more reasonable, raise your voice at the end of the sentence when saying something like, “does that make sense?”
Most of the time, you will have to use a question to sound more reasonable. For example, at the end of your speech, you could ask, “fair enough?”
3. Absolute Certainty
As we mentioned earlier, in sales, you should be approaching your prospects with a firm belief that you can help them solve their business problems. You communicate this with certainty when talking to them.
To add certainty to your vocal tonality, talk calmly, succinctly, and somewhat softly to the buyer.
4. I care
An empathetic tone is one of the most effective ways to convey rapport with your potential customers and master the sale.
Buyers will not listen or act on a hard sell. Instead, they want to buy from salespeople who take the time to understand them and build a relationship.
As such, your voice tonality needs to tell your clients that you care deeply about them and that you’re present in the conversation.
To sound more empathetic, use an upbeat, excited and sympathetic tone. Leave lots of pauses to agree, and make sure to nod your head as you transition from listening to speaking.
5. Claritive Statements Phrased as Questions
Often you have already researched the buyer when reaching out to them, so you need to confirm information without spending a lot of time doing so. We can use claritive statements when we don’t want to waste the buyer’s time.
An example of a claritive statement would be if you said the following at the top of a sales call: “Hi, is that Harry, from Acme company, who deals with the X widget?”
We’re not looking for specific long answers to each of the questions; we’re looking for a simple “yes” or “no” answer. To ask a claritive statement, keep a monotone voice and speed up as you go through each of the questions, building to a crescendo of energy at the end.
6. The Presupposing Tone
Since you know your product, you’ll know the likely outcome your prospects can expect. Therefore, you can use a presupposing tone to emphasize these benefits when describing them.
For instance, when selling software that promises to help improve productivity, you can say: “I know your productivity will improve dramatically, but I want to talk about how….”
Keeping your tone steady throughout the statement and then raising it towards the end of the final question encourages the buyer to take your statement for granted.
How to Use the Correct Vocal Inflection To Influence
These eight tonal patterns will help you improve your tonality. Keep in mind that you need to mix different tones throughout your sales pitch. If you pick one technique and stick to it, you will bore your prospects, and they will be looking forward to the end of the call.
On the other hand, if you vary your tone, you keep them engaged and eagerly listening to you.
Also, ensure that your body language matches your tonality. For example, when slumped over in your seat with your shoulders hunched and head forward, think about how you feel. I’m sure you won’t be feeling the most confident, your communication will be off and your buyers will see this body language clearly over a video call too.
Before you jump on sales phone calls, do a few stretches and sit upright. Throw out a random sentence or two if you haven’t spoken in a while. It will make a meaningful difference in your tonality.
The tonality of your voice is crucial to your success in sales. Perhaps even more important than the literal words you say.
Your communication skill will impact how well your prospects receive your message, it will effect the length of your sales process and it will change how you come across to your buyers.