Although exact figures vary, there is a body of research that suggests that theway we say something may carry more weight in communication than what we actually say i.e. the vocal element is more powerful than the verbal.
It’s certainly true that speech defects and bad mannerisms such as mumbling and the use of too many ‘um’s’ and ‘er’s’ etc, do nothing for a salesperson’s credibility in the mind of the prospect. But it is the voice itself, its timbre and the pace, pitch and power employed that can have a marked effect on how you are perceived as a salesperson. For example does your voice suggest that you are trustworthy, credible and reliable? Does it suggest that you are fully conversant with your subject matter or does it suggest shallow knowledge, uncertainty or a lack of belief and confidence?
So, what can you do in a practical way to improve the modulation of your voice and make your pace, pitch and power work effectively? Note the following points:
Speak around your natural pitch. Pick out sentences and practise using a higher and lower pitch
Work hard at mastering your nerves so that the pitch level does not rise too high. To a certain extent, experience will help to correct this problem as you move more from the panic zone to the comfort zone. Thorough preparation is also important as this will increase your confidence
Work hard to correct any bad speech mannerisms. It may be helpful to ask colleagues, friends and family to point out these mannerisms to you whenever they occur
Practise body suppleness exercises; your body needs to be in natural alignment
Practise for voice resonance. Learn to breathe correctly so that you fill the bottom part of your lungs and not just the shallow top part. Breathe in through the nose, hold, and then breathe out slowly. It is also important to stand straight but comfortable and to relax the neck muscles, tongue and jaw. If sitting, the same principle applies – sit upright and avoid slouching
When practising, build on the natural qualities of your voice; avoid attempting to sound like somebody else. Even if you feel that your voice is weak and uninspiring, you can improve its quality immensely by applying all the suggestions above
6 easy-to-incorporate actions that change your selling game with immiediate effect and are undetected by your prospect. Their perspective is simply of a confident sales person who truly believes in their product, and someone they can trust.