You believe you have a great sales pitch, but your conversions aren't where you'd like them to be. Tweaking your pitch may not be the answer; finding a new voice can get you the results you're looking for.

Sales delivery and conversion strategist Cindy Ashton helps  CEOs,  speakers, and  sales teams achieve a powerful presence and a delivery that influences others to take action on their initiatives. 

"Your speaking voice needs to be vibrant and articulate," says Ashton. "You want people to be completely captured by what you have to say instead of tuning you out." Ashton helps her clients to shape their words and use storytelling in a way that drives the message home. Among other things, the methods she teaches helps people to artfully use their speaking voice and body language to influence how customers and leads respond to them. Here are some of her popular tips on using your voice as an instrument to succeed.

1. Speed up to get buy in

When you're having a conversation, to get people to buy in, speed up your tempo when you are talking about the things they dream of achieving. Let them get caught up in the excitement and feel the dream of what they desire. 

Action: Next time you are leading a sales conversation and you ask the prospect why their goal is so important to them, dig deeper as you speed up tempo with enthusiasm. 

2. Slow down to make the offer

When people go in for the 'ask' and make the offer, they often get nervous and speed up. You've already got them excited by speeding up earlier in the conversation. They are feeling the energy and now you have to bring it home. In the offer stage, however; speed will only cause your offer to be lost. Slow down--they are about to get what they want.  

Action: To get the buy in, go slow, laser focus your energy on them and accentuate important words so they really hear how your product and service will give them what they want and change their life. 

3. Pause to close the sale

The fastest way to lose the sale is to keep talking. Once you state your price, silence is golden. If you keep talking, it takes the power away from the buyer to say yes. I see a lot of people start negotiating, devaluing, or over explaining before even getting a response. 

Action: After you drop the offer, shut up and stay connected. Don't say a word--even if there is uncomfortable silence for minutes. Hold the space and let them process and respond. 

4. Stretch and buzz to sound confident

When you have jaw tension, it makes you sound angry and because you are clamping down, your words tend to be mumbled. Another challenge is that your voice may also sound dull and monotone which reads as lacking enthusiasm. 

Action: Before you go into a meeting, do these 3 quick steps.
1. Open your mouth and stretch it five times.
2. Massage your jaw
3. Buzz on the zzzz or vvvv sound and slide up and down in pitch. 

You will be amazed by how vibrant and relaxed your voice will be and much more people respond to you. 

5. Breathe to engage

How you breathe impacts how your voice comes across, but unless you are meditating or in a yoga class, you're probably not aware of your breathing.  As a result, you may forget to breathe correctly and run out of air. When the air is not flowing, it causes body stress which can make you appear harried and ungrounded. Your potential buyer subconsciously feels like something is off.

Action: When you wake up every morning, take time to inhale into your stomach and see your belly rise. The more you can connect with your core, the more you will be able to release tension in your body and allow your voice to sound relaxed, open, and dynamic. It will draw your listener in and keep them engaged.

6. Be a cactus to become magnetic

Chest tension has a direct impact on how people perceive you. Nearly everyone has tension due to everyday stressors, improper breathing, leaning over a computer, lack of activity, and more.

If you have too much tension in your chest and you are standing too tall, it makes your voice aggressive and loud. When you have chest tension and a slouching posture, it makes the voice softer, which reads as insecure, grieving, or lacking energy. None of  this instills trust. Would you buy from someone who comes off as too aggressive or meek? 

Action: Stand with your back against the wall and raise your arms as though you are a cactus. Make sure to tuck your tail bone so you don't have a sway back. Stand and breathe into the tension for 30 seconds and then shake it out. Do this three times and notice how great your posture looks and how much more relaxed and open your speaking voice is. By exuding this level of comfort and confidence, your prospects will see you as credible. 

7. Ladies, drop your pitch or else men won't hear you--literally 

Ever hear a dog barking at something, but nothing is there? That is because dogs can hear high overtones that we, as humans, are not capable of hearing. Men are the opposite of dogs. They can't hear high tones so when you, as a woman, speak in a higher voice, it sounds like white noise to them. Men need to concentrate very hard to even hear what you are saying. Plus, it may read as flighty.

Action: When having a conversation with a man, be mindful to drop your pitch and notice how he engages with you more. 

Published on: May 19, 2016