Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Are Your Vocal Skills Hurting Your Sales?

“But Mary,” he said to me, “I’m the most enthusiastic salesperson in my office. I’m the first one here, the last to leave – I really like my job!” Allen was trying to convince me that he was truly an enthusiastic person even though he didn’t sound enthusiastic. In fact, he sounded like death warmed over because his voice had no inflection to it whatsoever; rather, it was a dull, droning monotone sound.

“I believe you, Allen,” I said, “but I’m not your prospect on the other end of the phone. Those people do not know you are enthusiastic, and when they hear your voice, they are going to jump to the conclusion that you are lifeless and unenthusiastic about your job. That means you start with a mark against you in a business that is competitive and tough at best. Can you afford to do that, especially since your income is based on your sales record?”

You see, Allen had made the same mistake many people make, and that was to assume that he sounded the way he felt. Furthermore, when he sat through my classroom training and I pointed out the need for more enthusiasm in his voice, I could sense that he failed to see the importance of it. However, when he heard a tape recording of his conversations with some of his prospects, his eyes got wider, his mouth dropped open, and that was when he tried to convince me of his enthusiasm.

Allen had never before heard himself the way others hear him. After being confronted with the reality that he had a very unenthusiastic tone of voice, he said to his father, “I couldn’t believe how I sounded in that recording. I really have a monotone voice.”

“You’ve talked like that all your life, Allen,” his father replied.  Allen was shocked.

Allen learned a good lesson that day: People hear the tone of your voice before they hear your words. You can say all the right words in the world, but the wrong voice, those words won’t get you very far. 

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