What is the goal when we try and sell something to another person?
You may read this opening statement and think it’s a stupid question but stop for one minute and think ‘What do you ACTUALLY WANT TO ACHIEVE’ when you sell?
The ultimate goal is to get the other person to pay for what you offer but in order for this transaction to happen, the other person MUST understand and feel comfortable with our communication.
They have to interpret our communication in the correct way.
They have to have felt we can solve their problem or desire.
They have to feel like we understand their situation.
They have to believe what we promise.
In simple terms, when they engage with us whether through a phone call, a Zoom meeting, or a face-to-face discussion that communication needs to be a success.
If you have never heard of Albert Mehrabian and his 7-38-55 model then now is a good time to learn more about it. Through his research and studies, Mehrabian identified that for communication to be a success, it was only down to the words we used.
In fact, the words we use (i.e. questions like we discussed last week) are important but what we say only accounts for 7% of the success of a communication.
The other 93% comes from ‘The Tone of our Voice’ and ‘The way our body language’ delivers the message.
We will cover the body language elements next week but our ‘Communication tone’ is CRITICAL if we want the person we are selling to receive our message in the right way.
And the tone is often where many people get sales conversations wrong.
Take this simple question.
What made you do that?
These 5 words on their own are simple but the way in which they are delivered will alter the reaction you receive.
Take an angry tone where someone’s voice is raised. When I see the image below, I think about a parent talking with their teenage kid who has just been found out doing something stupid!
Use this in a business or sales situation such as when a buyer has gone back on their word and your chance of a deal could end right there!
Or maybe a condescending tone when someone’s voice has that sense of arrogance which makes them feel that the decision you just made was stupid.
I often listen to sales calls where although they haven’t meant it, the seller can’t hide their feelings about a decision a potential buyer has made such as buying a system or software they don’t like.
The tone comes across as ‘What the hell were you thinking or doing’ and making a buyer feel like they are stupid is not going to make them warm to you.
Or maybe a lovely empathetic tone where the person lowers their voice and speaks slowly with real care and attention being focused on each word. A tone that makes the other person feel cared for and listened to and which makes them want to share more.
Using this tone when a buyer has discussed a problem with you and then you have softly with care probed even further into the issue is powerful. Being able to dig further to find out what implications that decision had for them and to understand how this truly affected them allows you to get to the core of the onion.
And as we know, when we get to the core of the buyer’s internal thought processes, good things happen.
Good sales tonality is crucial if you want to master the art of sales and selling.
It is crucial for those initial calls when we speak with someone we don’t know. We have to show confidence and purpose without being overly excited.
It’s crucial for those first meetings when we want to build rapport and be friendly. We want to get the buyer to like us without thinking we are over-friendly.
Is crucial for those follow-up meetings when the buyer has built some trust with us but where we need to probe deeply into what’s going on in their head. They have to sense our questions and follow-ups are based on real care and empathy and not to feel like they are being interviewed by the CIA!
You must, must, must focus on your tone if you want to be successful. The beauty is that each and every one of us has the perfect tool to be able to do this. We all have mobile/cell phones that have voice recorder functionality on them so here is a simple tip.
Record yourself asking certain questions in a certain way.
Listen to your own tone. Can you adjust it upwards or lower it downwards?
Ask those close to you to listen to it and see if they can spot how your voice changes.
Of course, ignore this advice and continue on as you are if you don’t think its worth the time but if the results don’t come, don’t say you haven’t been told.
Questions are key and Albert Einstein was right when he said we must know the right questions to ask.
But Mehrabian was also a genius. If we don’t ask the questions in the right way, we get the wrong action and response and many a sales deal has been lost by someone saying the wrong thing in the wrong way at the wrong time.
Want to know more about the final 55% of Mehrabian’s model and how we can use our body language in sales to make REAL IMPACT?