So when you think of non-verbal communication, the first thing that probably jumps to mind is body language. And I think it’s probably a normal assumption to think that stuff like body language, and facial expressions, and certain physiological triggers (like talking with your hands) don’t really matter when doing business over the phones because the other person can’t physically see you.
Well, at the risk of sounding cliché, motion creates emotion, and the way we move affects the way we sound, and what I’m talking about here is tonality.
We sound different when we’re standing versus when we’re sitting (or when we’re slouching down), and we all know when someone sounds prepared or when they sound unsure of themselves, right? There’s just a certain level of confidence (or lack of confidence) that comes across in our tonality, and what this does, whether you realize it or not is …
I mean, yes, the other person can’t physically see you when speaking on the phone. I get that. But you have to realize, that on the intros of calls, we all quickly tear each other apart and form a mental image of whoever it is that we’re speaking with – and it’s either going to be a positive image or a negative image – and it’s all based on how the person sounds.
Think of how someone sounds when he or she is distracted (perhaps you’re guilty of this? I know I am).
Say you’re in the middle of something and a potential client calls you up for the first time. You take the call, but your mind is elsewhere, and stuff like this can adversely affect the way you sound, the way you come across – especially in comparison to times when you’re prepared, focused, and distraction-free.
I’ll bet that 93% nonverbal number is starting to become a bit more realistic now, right?
When it comes to tonality, we all know how to speak with certainty about things that we’re certain about, and we all know how to speak in a matter-of-fact tone about things that are a matter-of-fact. And of course we all know how to speak like something’s no big deal, and we know how we sound when we’re talking about something that everyone despises.
Typing about tonality is a little weird, considering how written text seems to lose the subtle nuances of tone and inflection, but this is why I’ve created digital courses on all of this where I actually talk through and show real examples of everything in action.
And of course there are lots of other variations of tonal patterns, but I’m sure you get the point: different tonalities can make words mean different things, which can either enhance the experience you provide or detract from it.
Think about how when we want people to listen – we RAISE OUR VOICES, RIGHT? But if we really want people to listen, we lower our voices.
Dropping down to a whisper tone at the right places – especially when on the phones – is powerful. It just draws the listener in because it implies you have something special, something exclusive, and they’ll really want to know what you’re about to say next.
When it comes to cadence, the rate at which we speak, you have to realize, that when we’re nervous we naturally tend-to-speak-faster-which-RAISES-the-pitch-of-our-voices, and that registers subconsciously to the listener as: “This person is nervous, therefore something must be wrong …”
On the other hand, when we speak a little slower, it lowers the pitch of our voices, and we come across as more authoritative, so it registers subconsciously to the listener as: “Whoa … better listen up and take this person seriously!”
And of course there’s a balance to all of this, too, meaning: you can’t speak so slowly that you put the other person to sleep. You also can’t speak so authoritatively that they’re afraid of you, and you can’t speak so boldly that you sound pompous and arrogant.
But at the same time, you can’t speak too humbly because then you’ll come across as timid, and you can’t speak so quietly that they can’t hear you or understand what you’re saying – and all these subtle nuances help to make up that 93% that’s lurking beneath the surface (which is getting much more in focus now, right?).
Different tonalities can literally make words mean different things (think of the “HEY MOM !!!” versus “Hey, Mom?” examples from earlier), and I know what you’re probably thinking right now … like: “Oh my goodness, I have to learn all these different tonal patterns?”
The answer is “NO!” because … you already know them.
You already know how to do all this, so when you take a concept like “Advanced Tonality” and purposefully use the right tones at the right places? Especially on the intros to calls and at the right places throughout the calls? It will literally enhance and optimize the experience in your favor.
I mean, this stuff literally registers favorably in the subconscious minds of whoever you’re speaking with and it lets you tiptoe past the Reptilian and Mammalian parts of their brains without setting off alarms and it quickly gains you access to the listener’s Neocortex. And of course this means they’re now consciously paying attention because they feel safe and feel like they’re working with someone who can actually help them out.
This is some more secret weapon stuff right here.
Seriously, what do you think will happen when you purposefully incorporate this kind of stuff in how you communicate with your potential clients, especially on the first time you speak with them?
I know I mentioned this earlier, but I find that it’s become increasingly normal for people to struggle with communicating in real-time (meaning speaking). So, if my theory is true, then you’ll find yourself with a competitive advantage if you can just sound “okay,” right?
Now, if this is true (and I think it is), what do you think will happen if you up the level of your communication game?
You’ll seriously annihilate your competition.
I know this will sound cocky, but back in the Army days, when I competed during boards, it was never really my goal to just win or get selected for promotion. I know this will sound bad, but my goal was to embarrass my competition and make them feel dumb for even stepping up against me.
And I know that sounds way cocky, too, but I mean it when I say that we were all the same on the surface, like we were all experts at our individual jobs; experts with weapons; experts with physical fitness and first aid and everything; so really, what was the difference between those who won and those who lost?
It was the way we communicated and presented ourselves – and it really was as simple as that.