Did you know that 80% of the sale — no matter what you’re selling — is based on your tonality alone. It’s based on the way you talk. And that’s good news.
It means that if you lead a sales team, or you make calls yourself, the odds are 80% in your favor to knock it out of the park. Because it’s never been easier to make a lasting impression on C-level executives. Seriously. Tonality in sales is your secret weapon.
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The average C-level executive receives approximately 30-50 sales calls per day. That’s several calls every single hour. And 95% of those calls are unprepared cold-callers who drone on in the most uninspiring monotone voice imaginable.
Think about it… executives are getting flooded with these calls all day long.
So when they pick up the phone and hear passion and confidence on the line, their ears perk up and they almost feel a kindred connection. You tap into their emotions. And if anything is true in this world — it’s that people buy based on emotions, not logical thought.
With this in mind, if you get your sales team to finetune their tonality, you’re almost guaranteed to fill your pipeline and close more deals.
What is Tonality in Sales and Why Does it Matter?
Simply put, tonality is how your voice rises and falls as you speak. It’s your inflection.
When speaking to a child, commanding them to clean their room, your voice goes down as the words flow out. When speaking to a friend or colleague, your tonality tends to be even-keeled. And when speaking to your boss, it so happens that your voice goes up as you speak, which is submissive behavior.
“Will do! I’ll have the report on your desk by Friday.”
You can almost hear it, right?
Now, what does this have to do with selling? It has everything to do with selling.
You simply can’t afford to flatline on a call and bore your prospect into hanging up. You also can’t afford to be a really nice guy or gal on the phone. Nice is nice and all, but nice doesn’t win respect. (“Smile and dial” doesn’t work in the 2020’s.)
What wins respect is confidence and purpose. You dialed with a purpose, and if you truly believe in your offer, then you’re brimming with purpose. And your prospect can absolutely feel it on the call. It fires them up.
All of this comes through in your tonality. Here’s what to do…
Vary your tone from sentence to sentence. Even within a single sentence, you can take your prospect on a journey. Try these tactics:
- Stress certain words by really annunciating them
- Speak slower to emphasize a point
- Speak faster to signify action and vitality
- Speak softer when you want your prospect to lean in and listen
- And always speak from the diaphragm
Like a fine wine or Michelin three-star cuisine, the complexity of flavors keeps your senses engaged. So too should your sales calls keep your prospects engaged!
When done right, your prospect is drawn into your orbit and your positive energy compels them to want to hear more. If you’re calling to book a meeting, you’ve got them hook, line, and sinker. But if your offer is a one-call close, then mastering tonality in sales is the single best way to earn trust and make the sale.
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How Tonality in Sales Unlocks Emotions
It’s time to get creative. Now, when I say “get creative,” I don’t mean break the rules of everyday speech. Instead, play with your to-nal-ity.
Once you begin to master (or at least control!) you tonality, you will bypass your prospects “thinking brain” and go straight to their “emotional brain.”
The writer Oren Klaff calls this the “croc brain,” as it’s where we make value judgments on instinct (like a crocodile). Instincts are everything in sales. But they can work for you or against you. Trust me, your prospect’s instinct is to hang up the phone when they hear your voice. So master your tonality in sales, tap into their emotional brain, and just like that you flip the script! Your prospect is firing on positive instincts instead of negative instincts. This is 100% subconscious and automatic.
Bottom line is that your prospect buys into YOU when you begin to master your tonality in sales. And buying into you is more than half the battle. When salespeople understand this, their pipeline begins to burst at the seams. And when sales leaders truly get this, they transform an underperforming team into a force of nature.
Practice Positive Tonality Daily
Let’s say tomorrow is a 1,000-dial day for your sales team. We won’t get too nitty-gritty into the numbers. But let’s just say your team captures 50% more attention. This almost directly correlates to 50% more meetings booked. So is it worth it to keep this fundamental sales principle top-of-mind? You bet!
But more important than keeping it top-of-mind is consistently practicing tonality for cold calling. If 80% of the sale is based on tonality alone, it only makes sense to practice tonality like the sale depends on it.
Have your team practice with other salespeople or SDRs. Encourage them to practice their tonality with their friends and family. Even when they’re at the grocery store or the bank they can be using tonality to gain trust and be more persuasive. It’s truly a beautiful thing.
Final Words on Tonality When Selling
Hopefully I’ve convinced you that tonality in sales is one of the most important things to focus on this year and every year (maybe THE most important thing). And keep in mind that with enough practice, tonality becomes second nature. So it’s worth drilling day in and day out.
And one last thing worth mentioning is that mastering tonality makes you more likable as a person. When you infuse your speech with positive and creative tones, you essentially paint a bright aura around you that attracts others like a moth to a flame. This will pay dividends not only in the business world, but in everyday life. So get after it!
Until next time…