Influencing Prospects with Tonality

Influencing Prospects with Tonality

Tonality is a key component of building rapport and trust. Tonality is the process of salespeople communicating specific tonal patterns to proactively influence prospects. When salespeople talk, prospects have an unconscious internal dialogue running against their words; i.e. , they are either agreeing or disagreeing with them. By using tonality at the right time and in the right way, salespeople can create more powerful connections with prospects than words alone. That is, the tone of the salesperson’s voice can be used to alter the prospect’s internal dialogue and response.

According to the real Wolf of Wall Street and now successful sales trainer Jordan Belfort, there are eight tonal patterns that salespeople must master. They are:

  1. Absolute Certainty Tone – Use this tone to convey certainty or imply something to the prospect. Use a harder, more definitive tone. “I can absolutely get that done for you.”
  2. Declarative as a Question Tone – Use this tone to infer agreement with the prospect by using an up-tone at the end. The up-tone paralyzes their internal dialogue enabling forward movement. “Hi, this is Josh Lowry?”
  3. I Care Tone – Use this tone to respond to the prospect’s statement with empathy or sympathy. Prospect: “The cost of your product is higher than my budget.” Seller: “I totally understand.” 
  4. I Really Want to Know Tone – Use this tone to communicate full engagement and interest to the prospect. Be enthusiastic and upbeat (prospects will respond in kind). “How are you?” 
  5. Presupposing Tone – Use this tone to future pace the prospect and move them past the point of obvious. Convey something already is or will happen. “There is no question your organization will save money.”
  6. Reasonable Man Tone – Use this tone to convey that you want the prospect to do something by implying it is normal. Imply that you are both reasonable. “I would like to share an idea with you, do you have a minute?”
  7. Scarcity Tone – Use this tone to convey to the prospect that something is in short supply. Lower your voice to create urgency and the perception of “secret” information. “Prices will be increasing next month.”
  8. Three Up-Tones – Use three up-tones together to infer micro-agreements with the prospect. “This is Josh Lowry; calling from Raygun. We met at AWS re:Invent in Las Vegas.”

The enemy of influence and persuasion is constancy; i.e., salespeople communicating to prospects within the same tonal range without changing. When salespeople speak with constancy, prospects tune out. Why? People do not speak in constant tones. When tonality is used at the right time and in the right way, salespeople can move prospects forward emotionally. Prospects buy on emotion and justify their decisions with logic after the fact. If either of the two are out of alignment or missing, it is difficult to close deals.

All contents copyright © 2017, Josh Lowry. All rights reserved.

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