The Importance of Vocal Inflection in Sales Calls
A successful sales call isn’t only about relaying information to a prospective client, it’s also about conveying your enthusiasm, expertise, and professionalism. Vocal inflection is a crucial component of every sales call, and is used to communicate the tone of the conversation.
For experienced reps and new employees alike, mastering vocal inflection is key to cold call success. With the right tone and inflection, you can transform a conversation from bland to engaging. Here’s what you need to know about the importance of vocal inflection in sales calls.
What is Vocal Inflection?
Vocal inflection describes the pitch of a human voice during speech. Depending on the circumstance, you might adopt a higher inflection or a lower inflection for clarity and effect. For example, questions typically end with a slight upwards inflection at the end, signaling to the listener that there’s an expectation for an answer.
In sales, vocal inflection is used to improve a sales call by engaging the prospective client and creating a sense of emotional connection. When used effectively, inflection conveys a warm, approachable demeanor, which makes prospects more comfortable during the conversation. On the other hand, speech that is too monotonous (or lacking inflection) may come across as overly serious, unapproachable, or robotic.
How to Use Inflection During a Cold Call
Perfecting your cold call skills means practicing the way you deliver information to a prospective client.
#1 Use Humor
Humor is an essential part of a laid-back, friendly demeanor. Using humor during a phone call is a fantastic way to set the prospect at-ease and establish an easy rapport from the start. According to a LinkedIn article on inflection in sales calls, “much of a comedic presentation centers on the wonderful use of tone, pace, inflection and melody” and when used correctly, “humor is very good in a presentation, and a customer’s laughter is nearly always positive.” Practice emphasizing certain words or phrases for comedic effect before you start your phone call. Try to relax and let the conversation flow so your jokes don’t feel forced or rehearsed.
#2 Convey Enthusiasm
Vocal inflection conveys your enthusiasm for your company’s products and services. An enthusiastic tone convinces clients that you’re passionate about what you’re selling. Start by identifying certain words to emphasize. Instead of saying “we offer some of the finest tablecloths available” you might try emphasizing your company and a key descriptor to convey more enthusiasm and confidence. For example, “We offer some of the finest tablecloths available.”
#3 Show Interest in the Customer
Don’t get too carried away with your sales pitch. Remember, you want the customer to feel valued and heard in the conversation too. Use inflection to indicate your friendly attitude, and ask the customer plenty of questions. Try to smile while you’re on the phone, as this will influence the way your voice sounds, and make you sound approachable and pleasant.
Things to Keep in Mind During a Sales Call
Professionalism – Although vocal inflection is undoubtedly a useful tool, it’s important to make sure you’re not going too overboard modulating your speaking voice. Despite the importance of inflection, you still want to sound natural and be easy to talk too. Ensure that you maintain a professional demeanor and throughout the conversation.
Brevity – Sales calls should be short and sweet. Although you might get along well with a prospect and find yourself chatting about sports or TV, it’s best to keep cold calls concise. You never want a prospect to be relieved when they get off the phone, and it’s better to end the call when they are still curious and want to learn more about your company.
Respect – Even reps with the best vocal inflection deal with rejection all the time. Although it may be tempting to push back in order to score a sale, respect boundaries and listen to your prospect’s needs.
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