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Tone of Voice in Sales

· 3 min read
Roy Firestein
CEO at

As a Business Development Representative (BDR), your success hinges on your ability to connect with prospects and uncover their pain points. While your script and product knowledge are essential, there's one often-overlooked skill that can make or break your conversations: your tone.

This article was inspired after a long conversation with Bill Brunson, a seasoned sales expert with over 30 years of experience.

The Power of Tone

Imagine you're a doctor trying to diagnose a patient's ailment. You wouldn't barge in and start hammering them with questions about their symptoms. Instead, you'd adopt a curious, non-threatening tone to put them at ease and encourage them to open up.

The same principle applies to sales calls. As sales expert Bill Brunson puts it, "The tone is the most important. And what you say is almost secondary." By using the right tone, you can create a safe space for prospects to share their challenges and needs.

The Curious Doctor Approach

To master the art of tone, start by channeling your inner doctor. Approach each call with genuine curiosity and interest in the prospect's situation. Use a softer, lower tone of voice when probing about problems, and avoid hammering them to admit issues.

As Bill explains, "You're digging in but not with you're not hammering them. You're just acting out of true curiosity and interest in in the situation."

Emotional Detachment

One of the keys to nailing the right tone is to convey emotional detachment from the outcome of the call. You're not there to push your product at all costs; you're simply trying to mutually discover if the prospect has the problems you solve.

"I am not gonna batter you about the head trying to get you to admit to having problems," Bill says. "Because you wanna find somebody open enough to actually tell you."

The Subtle Art of Questioning

When it comes to questioning, less is often more. Ask once in a casual way and listen carefully to the prospect's response. Repeating questions or pressuring them will only undermine the easy-going tone you're trying to establish.

"As soon as you repeat the question, you're essentially belying the tone of voice that you're using," Bill warns.

Reframing the Conversation

Finally, avoid labeling your outreach as a "sales call," which can put prospects on guard. Instead, position it as an exploratory conversation focused on understanding their needs and challenges.

"I don't like calling it a sales call because it has a negative connotation," Bill explains. "People think selling is solving problems, but prospects don't look at it that way."

Mastering the Art of Tone

Adopting the right tone may feel unnatural at first, but with practice, it can become a powerful tool in your sales arsenal. By approaching prospects with genuine curiosity, emotional detachment, and a focus on their needs, you can build rapport, uncover key information, and ultimately, close more deals.

So the next time you pick up the phone, remember: it's not just what you say, but how you say it that counts. Master the art of tone, and watch your pipeline grow.