How Important Is Your Tone and Posture?

As a coach, we begin every call with our coaching clients by following up on actions items from the previous week. On a call with one of my clients, Josh, I asked him about using the cell phone technique. I was fully expecting to hear some enthusiasm and excitement from his experience. He wasn’t excited. Instead, Josh said he hated it! He said it was so awkward, he didn’t get referrals, and he didn’t like the technique at all.

I was slightly shocked. The cell phone technique works and it’s a good one! So, I asked him to roleplay with me. I wanted to find out just how he used the technique and how he was interacting with his prospects. He had the right words down. He is meticulous and always pays attention, so I knew something little was off.

I proceeded to ask him how he was sitting in his chair. Was he leaning forward or backward? He said forward. This was a red flag indicator. I advised him to use the exact same wording but lean back. Relax and allow the other person across from him to feel comfortable and not overpowered by his presence. Guess what? Two weeks later, when he had tried that and I asked him again, he got more referrals!

The Sales Process

Our voice and our posture make such a big difference in the sales process.

In a study done by General Electric, body language makes up for 58% of our communication, 37% of communication is our tone of voice, and only 5% of communication is the words we use. In sales, we spend so much time focusing on learning the right words, we don’t really focus on how to deliver those words.

During the sales process, there’s always initial contact. Then after that, there’s always a part of the process where we are asking questions to identify our customers’ needs. We find out how we can serve them.

After that, we present a solution to those needs. In this part, we want to find a need for a product or service. We need to show that we are actively listening. We don’t need to be too comfortable leaning back, or too assertive and excited where we are leaning forward. Just sit up straight in the chair. Our tone and speed of voice should be slow and low as we are really listening with sincerity.

In the next part of the presentation, this is where we want to increase the enthusiasm and show them how excited we are about our product. We want to sell the sizzle! Our voice needs to speed up and get louder, conveying the interest, and we lean forward as we are talking about all the benefits of our product and what it can do for our prospect.

Finally, we close for a decision and answer objections to get them moving forward. Here we switch gears again. We will lean back and speak low and slow with our prospect.

Tips for Adjusting Tone and Posture

We need to change our tone and speed of voice and posture as we move through the sales process.  Our voice and body language changes as we try to get a point across.

As a sales trainer, when I go into someone’s office, I want them to see me as someone who is confident and enthusiastic. I want to bring the heat! I have to walk in the room like that! My tone of voice needs to be loud and fast and I need to be assertive. I will have body language that is forward and reaching out toward them. Unlike when asking for referrals, I need to lean into that conversation because that shows enthusiasm.

When I sold educational books door-to-door, I needed to get something totally different across. I needed to appear non-threatening. To do that, I would turn sideways as I waited for them to open the door so they would see my profile, and not think I was threatening as someone head-on would be. My voice was low and slow for this presentation.

To become better at sales, we shouldn’t just focus on the words we use. Rather we should pay attention to our voice tone and speed, as well as our posture. These simple tips can make a world of difference in your presentation and interactions with the people you are doing business with.

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