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Tonality in sales

An SDR asked me the other day:


'How do I work on my tone?'


It's probably one of the most important parts of human communication. It's also one of the least discussed.


Words account for about 7% of effective communication. Tone is around 38%. (Dr. Albert Mehrabian, UCLA).


The other 55% is body language but we can disregard that over the phone.


Interesting to note:


- You can say the wrong thing in the right way and get away with it.


- But if you say the right thing in the wrong way you won't.


So let's work the question backwards.


What do we not want in our tone of voice?


- sounding overly enthusiastic and salesy

- sounding subservient

- sounding desperate

- sounding flat or monotone

- sounding scripted & robotic

- finishing sentences in an upward tone (implies a question and lack of confidence)


So how do we ensure our tone hits the right note?


To be clear - salespeople should never put on some awful fake 'business voice'. People see right through it.


The correct tone needs to come from a part of us that we tune into.


I'm of the belief we all have the resources inside of ourselves - we just need to find the appropriate tools for the relevant situation.


Your voice in the pub may not be the most professional.


If you're naturally hyper and high-pitched you may want to tone it down a little.


If monotone you need to work on varying your intonation.



So in having the right tone we need the following to be true:


- absolute self-confidence in order to command authority


- sounding human & natural so you're highly relatable


- complete clarity in why you're reaching out


- self assured enough to speak to senior management as an equal


- an understanding of the importance of varying your tone for richness of communication


- being at ease with any outcome of a call & not pinning all your hopes on a yes (otherwise known as not giving a sh*t...in a positive way)



Sometimes the odd fumble is useful as it makes you human. If you're 100% slick you may come across as a bit of a smartarse.


Don't forget pace as well.


There is a lot of power & authority in slowing down, pausing...and being comfortable in not filling the silence.


I used to think whoever fills the silence loses...


Anything else people think is important?



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