The Power of Voice Inflection

– the simple change that goes a long way!

Sales Coordinator, James Gramp

James Gramp

James Gramp

Sales Coordinator

With his signature common sense, quiet good humor, and brilliant customer service, Jim is the other half of the RBI phone answering dynamic duo! An Arizona native, Jim manages agent relationships for the East Coast and specializes in the RBI agent tools, especially the Agent Market Edge. Jim has been a licensed health insurance agent for over a year, and has worked at RBI for 2 years. An accomplished bassoonist, he is known around the office for his amazing musical skills. In addition to keeping busy around the office, Jim frequently contributes to our blog, bringing a new agent’s perspective to the RBI online presence.

Zig Ziglar once said “Selling is essentially the transference of feeling.” I’m not a naturally boisterous kind of guy, so I have to remind myself of how I sound and how I am coming across when I’m interacting with clients. I’ve learned through personal experience that if you speak without any voice inflection not only will you sound like a robot, but you WILL miss out on sales. This is something I’ve been working on since I started at RB Insurance Group and it’s something you should never stop practicing!The Power of Voice Inflection

Listen to Yourself

Whether you’re in a one-on-one home visit or setting appointments over the phone, it is imperative that you master voice inflection. The best way to do this is follow another Zig Ziglar tip. Record yourself giving your sales presentation/script and listen to yourself.  There is a certain initial shock value to how different you sound on a recording versus inside your own head (Here is a great article if you’ve ever wondered why you sound so weird on a recording). Once you’re over the shock, however, listen to your inflection and start to really figure out where you can emphasize certain words to drive your message. I know it sounds silly but just do it! You’ll be surprised at how you perceive your own presentation and immediately start improving your skills as a communicator.

Just Smile!

One way to help improve your inflection, especially over the phone, is to smile while talking.  You may be surprised by why, though. It has more to do with physiology than psychology. For those of you who have sung in a choir, you know that the wider you open your mouth and the more teeth you show, the better tone you get. The same applies over the phone. Smiling helps your voice sound more friendly, warm, and receptive.

Changing the Emphasis of your Words

Be aware of how stressing certain words changes the feeling of what you’re saying. For example, take the following sentence, “What would you like us to do about it?”

  • “What would you like us to do about it?”
    • Emphasizing “would you” makes you sound defensive.
  • “What would you like us to do about it?”
    • Emphasizing “like us” makes you sound curious as to what you can do about it.
  • “What would you like us to do about it?”
    • No emphasis makes you sound apathetic.

Simply by changing your sentence inflection you completely change the perceived meaning or connotation of what you say. Understanding how you are perceived by your clients and prospects is just as important, if not more important, than your mastery of the materials you present.

Breathing is Everything

The inflection in your voice can be greatly affected by your breathing. Typically the more stressful a situation you’re in, the shallower your breathing will be. Your vocal cords tighten and  your voice goes up in pitch — then you just sound strained. Slow down and take deeper breaths the next time you’re in a stressful situation. You’ll notice that your pitch will come down and immediately make you sound more warm and calm.

Voice Inflection Increases Your Sales Effectiveness

As insurance agents, it’s important to provide the best education and explanation we can to our clients. For most of us, our primary route of communication is our voice.

Think of your voice as a tool and inflection as a skill that you can fine tune into an educational instrument, especially if you find potential clients lacking understanding or confidence in what you are telling them. When you properly use inflection to communicate key concepts about a client’s insurance policy, they will have a better understanding of their coverage and more confidence in you as their advocate.

If you’d like more useful tips on how to practice your voice inflection, give me a call at 1-800-997-3107, or send an email!

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