How to Sell Like Barry White
Yeah, maybe you’re feeling all good about yourself. Sales are going well. Things are clicking. You have the world on a string.
Here’s a quick way to pop that bubble: Listen to a recording of yourself speaking. You just shriveled a little bit inside just thinking about it, didn’t you? It might be some consolation that most people react that way. I trained as a professional broadcaster but I still want to hide under my desk when I listen to a play back. And there was the time that it took so long to record my voice mail greeting that I was reduced to yelling, “What do you want from me!?!” and left it at that.
This is on my mind because we are preparing an interview with the vocal coach Roger Love for the August magazine. Our publisher, Paul Feldman, saw Roger at an event and realized that many salespeople probably don’t think about their voice as their main instrument. Think about how you react to a nasally, screechy voice and you understand the significance of vocal delivery.
I won’t give away too much before the interview comes out but I will share one point that might whet your appetite.
If you sound like a nasally “wah, wah, wah,” you might be literally swallowing your words. Roger said that many people speak with their Adam’s apple too high in their throat. Apparently that tells your brain that you are eating and constricts your airway. So you sound like your choking because you are.
Here’s how to tell if you are doing this. (This is obviously easier for men, who have a more prominent Adam’s apple.) Place your index finger on your chin, then run it down your neck to your Adam’s apple. With your finger there, speak. If your Adam’s apple bobbles above your finger, you are constricting your air flow.
One way to improve this to drop your tongue in your mouth. If you do this, you will feel your Adam’s apple, or larynx, drop. Practice this and speak to deepen your voice.