7 months ago
February 21, 2017

How Your Speech Patterns is Affecting Your Sales

You need to determine how your speech pattern may be affecting your sales.

Rhys Metler

Communication is a lot more than just speaking. It also involves gestures, tone and speech patterns. In sales, speech patterns, gestures and tone can completely change what you are trying to accomplish through your words.  In addition, your accent can affect how well you do in sales. With certain accents, listeners have preconceived notions about the honesty and intelligence of the person speaking. This is regardless of the words that they are using. In sales, speech patterns are so important that many companies only hire individuals who have voices that sound like radio announcers or Shakespearean actors. You need to determine how your speech pattern may be affecting your sales.

You need to look, or lend your ear, to how you are speaking. You need to consider the volume of your speaking voice. You also need to consider whether your accent is affecting how well people understand you, and how quickly you speak. In sales, speech patterns that have issues in any of these areas can affect how well your clients understand you and how seriously they take you.

In each part of the U.S., for example, people tend to speak at different speeds. A person from the east coast speaks nearly 30 percent more rapidly than someone from the middle of the country. In sales, speech patterns that are too fast will only cause you to lose or confuse the person that you are talking to.  Many times when people speak rapidly we feel that they are in a hurry and don’t want to take the time to speak with us, or we feel that they are not secure in the information that they are talking about. Conversely, in sales, speech patterns that are too slow cause the listener to lose interest. They may also feel that the speaker is not very intelligent, or worse, the listener may feel that the speaker perceives them to not be very intelligent. For success in sales, speech patterns in regard to speed should be about 180 words per minute. 

No one really has a lot of control over the type of accent that they have, but in sales, speech patterns, where someone’s accent is especially thick, it can cause a lack of communication and understanding.  All across North America there are a range of accents.  If you have been in a position where people cannot understand you because of your accent, you need to take the time to learn how to tone down your accent.  In sales, speech patterns with strong accents can diminish your message. You do not have to lose your accent entirely.  It is a part of who you are. But, you do want to make sure that it is not affecting your sales.  If it is, you want to learn to diminish it enough to help you succeed.

In sales, speech patterns that tend to be too loud or too soft can also affect speech patterns.  This can often go along with accent.  It is often said, “Those who cannot hear a shout will struggle to hear a whisper”.  Being too loud in sales makes you into the stereotypical loud-mouthed sales person often portrayed on TV.  Being too soft-spoken makes you seem timid and uncertain of what you are talking about.  You need to find a middle ground that is a conversational level.  In sales, speech patterns that are conversational are the most successful.

Other parts of the speech pattern that you need to be aware of:

  • pronunciation of words
  • use of slang or jargon
  • use of crutch words such as “like” or “um”

For professional in sales, speech patterns that are easy to understand, and that are moderated for speed and volume are going to help you to gain the most success in your sales career. 

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and two daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day, tropical vacations and cottaging.