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How many times have you reached out to a friend or family member over the phone and immediately know something is wrong just from the way they answer the phone? With just one word out of their mouth you know if they are having a good day or a bad day.

Think about this when you are making a sales call or that first prospecting conversation. Scientific studies show that when you hear someone speak for the first time, your voice begins to formulate an opinion of who you are as a person. In a study conducted at the University of Glasgow, subjects were asked to judge personality characteristics of someone just from hearing them say the word Hello. Researchers were surprised at the outcome. For each of the personality characteristics being measured such as trustworthiness, aggressiveness, confidence, dominance and warmth almost all listeners measured each voice equally from one word.

Now take this into account when you are trying to make a good impression and all you have is the sound of your voice. Do you sound confident, trustworthy, intelligent? Even with all the best sales enablement tools, digital marketing and SEO, many of us still have to have a real conversation in order to generate revenue but how many of you understand the power your voice has on your ability to influence the outcome of these situations?

We’ve all heard that people’s buying decisions are more based upon emotions vs. rational decision making so how can we use this in conversations that we are having with a target prospect? Learning how to speak in a way that will stir up positive emotions can be your secret weapon against the competition. You’re probably thinking well that’s all well and good but how can I change the way I speak?

One example I give people when speaking about this topic is listen to younger people who sound like everything they say is a question. They were not born speaking like this, they learned to speak like this so they can unlearn it as well.

The easiest way to make a dramatic change in the way you speak — simply speak at a slower pace. In a study conducted by Quantified Communications, the compared Walter Cronkite’s voice to Anderson Coopers and found Walter Cronkite was more trustworthy — one factor was that he spoke at a slower rate of speech. This may sound simple but it will give your listener the appearance that you are confident, gives them a greater ability to digest what you are saying. Try practicing this by recording your voice speaking normally and then slowing it down a notch. Or you can reach out to FRONTLINE Selling who has technology that will allow you to practice a conversation and measure the emotion in your voice using their EmotiMeter technology