Watch your tone! Training experts reveal how to leverage manners for success

Watch your tone! Training experts reveal how to leverage manners for success

As the saying goes, it's not what you say but how you say it.

According to the founders of ISR Training, Jack Corbett and Ryan Tuckwood, this statement couldn't be more accurate to the world of business.

If you haven't already heard of these entrepreneurs, Corbett and Tuckwood have made it their mission to create a new standard of sales professional who is best guided by their moral compass.

'Selling With Integrity and Selling Honestly' is so ingrained into the duo's professional DNA that it became the namesake for ISR's new innovative SWISH Academy, a program designed to help companies convert more leads, overcome objections and increase client retention.

It's a program that has been backed by the likes of renowned Shark Tank entrepreneurs Glen Richards, Steve Baxter and Andrew Banks.

Corbett and Tuckwood believe one of the most important skills the SWISH Academy teaches is effective tone when speaking to potential clients or customers.

"Many aspects of the SWISH Sales Method we would consider an art form, but few as much as the art of mastering tonality," says Tuckwood.

"When ethically influencing an individual's decision-making process, the combination of the right tones of voice coupled with the correct negotiation tools will help you get the decision you're looking for almost every time."

Corbett and Tuckwood reveal the eight most valuable intonations when it comes to sales, ones which learners can master through the SWISH Academy.

1. The reasonable person tone

Mastered by the likes of Morgan Freeman and David Attenborough, the reasonable person tone is a very natural and organic tone of voice. This style lacks emphasis on specific words and is best used when handling objections, also when closing a sale or expressing appreciation and sincerity to the subject. The best way to practice delivering this tone is by speaking as if you were holding an asleep baby while in conversation with somebody else.

2. The 'I care' tone

The 'I care' tone is best used when asking people questions that may evoke thoughts of problems or pain. It's otherwise known as the empathy or sympathy tone and is best practiced by imagining how you would respond to somebody after they have experienced some kind of trauma. It's best delivered with a slight rasp and spoken from the throat, for example when you ask someone 'what happened' after they have lost a job or had a fight with a loved one.

3. Pace-Pace Lead

The Pace-Pace Lead (PPL) is a tempo and enthusiasm setting tone. This is where you begin listening to the customers tone of voice and adjusting your enthusiasm to a point exactly 10 per cent higher than them. Then, through a series of closed questions in combination with affirmation words like 'great', 'awesome' or 'perfect', enthusiasm should increase by 10 per cent after each question. The PPL ends when the enthusiasm of the conversation is collapsed into a reasonable person tone to close the sale.

4. Tone of absolute certainty

Facts, figures & percentages are best presented with a tone of 'absolute certainty'. This is a matter-of-fact way of speaking which, without being arrogant, allows you to be definite about any fact to inspire confidence. By taking an authoritative tone, you are reassuring the customer that what you're saying is the truth.

5. The curiosity tone

Curiosity is the tone you should use to ask any question that does not relate to problems or pain. By simply extending the last syllable of a question, you are showing that you really want to know the answer. This is a sure-fire way to build rapport and gather intelligence.

6. The 'up-tone' opener

Up-tones, where your vocal inflections rise at the end of certain words, are a great way to break the ice. When used in the introduction to an unsolicited call, the purpose of up-tones is to rearrange a customer's internal dialect and lead them to believe they may already know you. Up-tones are most effectively used when saying the customer's name, your name or the company name to establish familiarity.

7. Pre-supposing

Although it can be a double-edged sword when used improperly, the pre-supposing tone lends itself to powerful rhetorical questions where the answer is generally assumed. This air of authority adds the most value when looking to get a 'yes' to any closed question. The pre-supposing tone is best practiced by asking things like, 'wouldn't you?' or 'couldn't you?' to close out your questions.

8. The tone of secrecy

By using a secretive tone, you're automatically making whatever it is your selling seem more desirable. This tone certainly shouldn't be overused, ideally only once per negotiation, as it only becomes powerful when used in small doses. Secretive tones create exclusiveness and ultimately increase the consumer's buying desire. They're often referred to as the 'get a load of this shit' tone as they're extremely effective in building trust and letting the customer know they're in for a good deal.

As with all skills, building a more effective tone is all about practice. To find out more about how you can develop tonality, get in touch with ISR Training.

This article was written in partnership with ISR Training.

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