As you grapple to adjust to various changes of social distancing, quarantine requirements, business closures, isolation from your support network and loss of personal client interactions is impacting the ability to build rapport with new customers.
It’s time to level up your communication using the two most powerful assets you have right now, your voice and ears!
The combination of the way you sound, what’s been said, how it’s delivered, perceived and received has never been more important. Your voice can make others react positively or negatively.
Words have persuasive powers in varying scenarios, but they are not the most powerful asset during verbal communication.
The seven per cent rule was based on research conducted by Albert Mehrabain published in a book, Silent Messages, which concluded the credibility of a salesperson was based on other factors than words – 55 per cent was assigned to body language, 38 per cent to tone and weight of their tone, and only seven per cent of credibility was assigned the content of words.
Honing, in on the 38 per cent is now the wisest, most potent way to enhance the quality of communication during social isolation and quarantine.
Here are five essential key elements to powerfully influence others with your voice
- Rate: slow or fast
Combine tempo be conscious of the rate, fast talking puts the listener on edge and can leave them feeling agitated, talking too slowly is perceived as condescending or talking down to somebody.
- Frequency and pitch
Studies conducted find high pitched, voice in women was perceived slightly less intelligent but too low and you’ll come across as aggressive. Men with lower voices were perceived as having more confidence, influence & leadership. While those who raise their voice at the end of a sentence are perceived as unsure of themselves which can be associated with discomfort or dishonesty.
- Intensity (volume)
How you are interpreted by the volume depends on various factors: loud and desperate when delivering a sales pitch or trying to overpower an argument isn’t received well. To the same degree soft and nervous in men is regarded differently to soft and sweet in women-be heard but do so respectfully.
- Inflection and intonation
Light and shade in a sentence is necessary to deliver a message effectively. Using a continuous high-pitched voice, you’ll be perceived as unintelligent, or in a continuous low tone you’ll come across as boring, uninterested and monotone. Use highs and lows of inflection and intonation to deliver your message with certainty and accuracy.
- Quality of speech
Your voice is a tool and the quality of its uniqueness has persuasive abilities. Hoarse, raspy or breathy it doesn’t matter, delivering clear, well-articulated words and speaking with accuracy and authority counts. Speak from the chest register rather than your throat or your nose.
Your voice affects the way you are perceived but having the power to influence goes beyond your voice.
Here are my top five tips to close more deals and communicate like an expert
- Be present in a conversation, listen to what is being. Mirror speed, tone and words to build rapport.
- Ask questions to uncover needs, don’t dominate the conversation, allow the other person to speak. While gathering information.
- Set intentions of what you aim to achieve before opening your mouth and ask yourself, is what I’m about to say helpful to the result I desire and beneficial to the recipient.
- Choose your words carefully don’t be negative, complain, be judgmental, opinionated, or project blame; nobody is receptive or engaged in hearing these communications.
- Use the word HAIL to remind yourself of the value of being you – be Honest, speak with Authenticity, have Integrity, and come from a place of Love.
Louanne Ward, Relationship Strategist, Writer and Motivational Speaker