There’s a cold, hard truth about cold calling few sales reps want to admit: It doesn’t actually matter what you say. Sure, you can practice your script until your lips go numb. But those first few words out of your mouth are way less important than how you sound.
What am I talking about?
Take a second and think back to the last time you picked up a call from someone you didn’t know. Before they got to the end of their first sentence, you’d made a judgement call about whether or not you trust them and want to hear what they have to say. In fact, studies agree that communication is only 7% verbal.
That means that when you dial a prospect and they can’t see you, 93% of the potential success of your cold call comes down to the tone of your voice.
When it comes to cold calling, tonality can be one of your biggest strengths or your greatest weaknesses. So how can you make sure you’re doing everything you can to sound confident, smart, and enthusiastic?
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When you’re making a cold call, you’re already dealing with a healthy dose of skepticism. The prospect doesn’t know who you are or why you’re calling. And they’re looking for any excuse to get off the phone as quickly as possible.
Sales is all about quickly building trust. And your voice is what instills that trust on a cold call.
So, it’s incredibly important to sound good when talking to prospects. If your tone or style of speaking makes prospects confused, upset, or angry, it doesn’t matter what you’re selling. They’re not going to buy from you.
However, there are a few simple changes you can make to your voice that can help you sound more confident and strong.
These aren’t magic tricks that will make your prospects want to buy from you or not get off the phone. But they are going to dramatically increase the attractiveness of your pitch:
The first thing a prospect is going to notice about your voice is how loudly you’re speaking.
If you’re talking quietly, most ears will interpret that as a lack of confidence. Your prospect will instantly think you’re being quiet because you’re afraid, nervous, and generally unsuccessful—all incredibly unattractive qualities on a sales call. Not only that, but if they have to ask “what?” over and over, you’ve already lost them.
On the other end of the spectrum, yelling at your prospect can come across as aggressive and like you’re overcompensating.
But there’s a sweet spot in the middle where you’re speaking slightly louder than average. Not only does this ensure they hear every word you’re saying. But even just speaking a bit louder than most people makes you sound more confident, in control, and authoritative.
Close your eyes and imagine you pick up the phone and hear:
“Hello… uhhh.. This is Bob…… you don’t know me… But I.. ummmm. I’m calling from company X….. and…. Can I have a minute… umm… of your time….”
If that sentence was painful to read, imagine what your prospect is feeling when they hear that voice coming out of their phone?
The pace and cadence of your words is another huge factor in how prospects perceive your pitch. Again, if you’re speaking at a below average pace, most ears will interpret that as you being unsure or confused. They’ll think you’re taking your time because you don’t know what you’re saying. And if that’s the case, why should they trust you?
Ironically, speaking slowly also makes it harder to understand what you’re saying. We’re used to a certain pace in conversations and anything below that is frustrating to listen to.
Now, this doesn’t mean you need to speed through your pitch. Again, you want to aim to speak at a pace that’s slightly above average. Not so quick that words and meaning get lost, but fast enough that you sound well rehearsed, confident, and smart.
You’d never sit at a meeting with your head slumped staring at the floor and expect to get the sale. Yet that’s exactly what so many sales reps do on the phone.
But body language isn’t just for your prospect. Changing how you’re positioned during your cold calls can give you more confidence and energy. And the person on the other end of the line will pick up on it.
When you’re making a cold call, stand up with your shoulders back and chest out. Look up from the ground and smile. Try it now. That energy you’re feeling is going to make its way into your pitch, making you sound confident and excited.
If you think cold calling is only about your pitch, you’re missing out on 9/10 of what people are actually listening to. When your tone doesn’t match the energy of your pitch, it doesn’t matter what you say, you’ve already lost the person on the other end.
Take some time to listen back to your call recordings and hear how you sound (Close.io can automatically record and securely store all your sales calls. If you haven’t tried our software out yet, start your 14-day free trial today).
Ignore the words and listen to the tone. Do you sound confident? Do you sound smart and strong and organized? Are you speaking slightly louder and faster than most people?
If so, you’re going to sound good. And your prospect’s going to like and trust you. Even if they don’t know why.
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