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It's not what you say, it's how you say it!


Maripili Menchaca


July 26, 2017

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Let’s talk about a very important—and often overlooked—aspect of sales: tonality. 

When it comes to sales, the way you say something is often more important than what you say. In fact, the tone of your voice might actually be jeopardizing your sales success.

Keep reading to learn more about: 

  • What is tonality?
  • How does tonality affect your sales?
  • What are the different types of tonality?

What is tonality? 

Think about how often miscommunication happens because of text conversations or email exchanges. You can hear yourself say the words in your head as you type, but when the other person can’t hear the tone of your voice, your words are left up to interpretation.

In a nutshell, tonality is the way your voice sounds while you're speaking, and while tonality usually depends on context, you can learn to weild it as a tool! 

How does tonality affect your sales?

While you may have perfected the words you use to sell, your tone is what seals the deal. If you lack confidence, your audience will know right away.

When a prospect approaches you, they do so because they have a problem that your product or service can fix. In this situation, you are the expert with the solution and you must present yourself in that manner.

Put your consumer hat back on for a moment. How would you feel if a salesperson sounded bored, irritated, or disinterested when you needed their help? They could be saying all the right things, but if their voice suggests disinterest or condescension, you won’t be sold on what they’re offering.

Pro-tip: Record yourself during a mock sales pitch and then evaluate your tonality and make the necessary changes. 

What are the different types of tonality?  

Let’s take a look at each of these categories.

1. Stressing scarcity/urgency

This tone is used to convey the need to make a decision quickly. For example, when having a conversation with a prospect, you can express concern that they could miss out on an offer if they don’t act quickly.

2. Being reasonable

You are on the same side as them. Speaking as if you’re a member of their team, or can relate to their point of view, can help you build a positive relationship with the buyer.

3. Emphasizing absolute certainty

You know you can help them, and you want them to understand that as well.

4. Using empathy

You’re trying to say “I care.” Empathy is important in sales. Customers want to know that their problems matter to you.

5. Being declarative 

Ending your statement with a raised voice, otherwise known as an “up-tone,” suggests a question mark. Try not to sound like you’re unsure. You want to sound confident and certain like the expert you are. 

6. Including three up-tones 

Although you don’t want to sound like you’re asking the customer a question, you can still utilize up-tones. Use three of them in a row and it makes others feel encouraged to agree with you.  

7. Presupposing the outcome

You already know the results they can expect. Using a presupposing tone is especially helpful when emphasizing the benefits the customer can expect to have when using your product.

8. Staying curious

Customers want to be heard. Using this tone allows you to communicate that you want to hear them.

Feeling ready to consciously control how your words come across? Give it a try! 

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