We live and work in a results driven world. For many entrepreneurs and leaders in the business sector, there is a necessary emphasis on getting the ‘yes’. For some, this yes comes from landing a new client or doubling a sales order with an existing one. For others, it may be landing that job you’ve had rounds of interviews for for weeks (see our job interview post for more tips for interviews). No matter which category you fall in, landing a yes depends on many factors including, as you may have guessed, your voice!
While writing this blog post, we wanted to see what the consensus was around how verbal communication can help get your sales pitch that ‘yes’. To help us explore we thought it might be fun to see what ChatGPT (a non-verbal AI platform) had to say about the relationship between the voice and sales wins when we asked it “what vocal elements help with sales?” Below is the AI (Artificial Intelligence) reply, which we’ll then unpack and “rewrite” in Peacock Voices language after the section in green:
“In any sales process, the way we communicate our message can make a significant difference in the outcome. This is where vocal attributes come into play. Vocal attributes refer to the way we use our voice to convey our message and connect with our audience. In this blog post, we will explore some of the vocal attributes that can help with sales.
Clarity: The first vocal attribute that can help with sales is clarity. Clear and concise communication is critical in any sales conversation. When you speak clearly, you are more likely to be understood by your audience. This means using proper enunciation and pronunciation of words, avoiding filler words, and maintaining a steady pace.
Confidence: Confidence is another essential vocal attribute that can help with sales. When you speak with confidence, you are more likely to inspire trust in your audience. This means speaking with conviction and using a tone that is authoritative and assertive. However, it's important to strike a balance and avoid sounding too aggressive or arrogant.
Empathy: Empathy is an often-overlooked vocal attribute that can help with sales. When you speak with empathy, you are better able to connect with your audience and understand their needs. This means using a tone that is warm, friendly, and compassionate. It's important to take the time to listen to your audience and respond in a way that shows you understand their perspective.
Energy: Energy is another important vocal attribute that can help with sales. When you speak with energy, you are more likely to capture the attention of your audience and keep them engaged. This means using a tone that is lively, dynamic, and enthusiastic. However, it's important to avoid sounding over-the-top or fake.
Authenticity: Finally, authenticity is a crucial vocal attribute that can help with sales. When you speak authentically, you are more likely to build trust with your audience. This means using a tone that is genuine, honest, and transparent. It's important to avoid using canned or scripted language and to speak from the heart.
In conclusion, vocal attributes play a crucial role in the sales process. By focusing on clarity, confidence, empathy, energy, and authenticity, you can improve your communication skills and connect with your audience on a deeper level. Remember to practice these vocal attributes consistently to become a more effective salesperson.”
As we reviewed this response, the team at Peacock Voices was blown away! We all know it’s important to be clear, confident, empathetic, energetic and authentic, right? Those are skills discussed in any entry level business school course. What we found so interesting about this response is that there is no clear understanding of what vocal attributes are seen as clear, confident, empathetic, energetic and authentic. For all these traits, but especially authenticity, much of what this looks like is wildly different from person to person.
In this blog post, we want to break down what vocal attributes actually affect these perceived emotions/emotional responses to people’s voices. It is important to identify these so you have a sense of what elements you can take notice of and work to refine in your voice.
Clarity: When we talk about vocal clarity, we are thinking primarily of your diction, the volume at which you speak, how you utilize inflection, the speed of speech and how you are using silence.
Confidence: As we think about vocal confidence, in addition to thinking about your diction, volume, inflection, speed of speech, and use of silence, we’re also thinking about your pitch home (the natural pitch where your speaking voice centers) and resonance or the space created inside your mouth and throat to make your sound either bright or rich and dark.
Empathy: At Peacock Voices, we want to encourage you to think about your overall vocal inflection, resonance, volume, silence, aspiration (breathiness) in sound, and speed of speech if you’re seeking to find a more empathetic sound.
Energy: Here the things to focus on are your volume, how you’re thinking about your consonants and diction, and how quickly you are speaking.
Authenticity: We love this one because there’s no right or wrong thing to focus on here - it’s up to you! Whatever you think makes you and your voice authentically yours :)
As you look at our above breakdown of these categories, it wouldn’t surprise us if your immediate thought is: “there are so many repeated traits listed above — how can the same trait combinations mean such different things for the listener?” To that, we would remind you that not all silence is the same, not all volume is the same, not all resonance is the same, etc.
How you personally choose to utilize and manipulate silence will change how people listening to you interact with that silence. If you use it in a really rhythmic way, it can come off as confident and authoritative. If your silence is softer and less defined, that may lead your listener to hear empathy and label YOU as a good listener, someone interested in hearing their voice and their ideas. These same sorts of decisions with regard to how you think about your diction, vocal inflection, etc. can all be powerful tools in how to captivate your audience and get the yes.
In the end, having clear, confident, empathetic, energetic and authentic speech is vital to your success. Until you know HOW to make the sounds that are clear, the sound of confidence, empathy, and authenticity, you won’t have as much control over the room you are selling to.