Tones You Can Use To Persuade And Command
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
ONE thing I like about Charles," said his sweetheart, "is that he's always the same—he never loses his temper."
To which Charles's sister replied "Lose his temper? O-o-oh, No-o-o ! Charles never does th-a-a-t!"
And, the sweetheart began to wonder if she knew as much about Charles as she thought she did.
In words the sister said : "Oh, no ! Charles never loses his temper." But her tones said : "You sweet, simple, little deary, Charles does lose his temper, and when he does! Pell—it's a cyclone ! Just wait until you're married to him!"
Since words and meaning conflict, and since one unit of tone is more convincing than six hundred units of words, it is wise to make use of tones.
The mental-tone actually fights to gain attention. "Hear Ye ! Hear Ye !" is used in the courtroom to gain the immediate attention of every one in the room. This mental tone is a fighting tone. It does not suggest a physical fight, but a conflict of ideas. Unless you wish to stir up opposing ideas, avoid using it except when necessary to gain immediate attention.
The feeling-tone is the brotherhood tone, the comradeship-tone, the I-want-to-doyou-a-good-turn-tone. To be effective, it must be without any hint of fawning or pleading. In the mind of the listener, it awakens willingness to be persuaded.
To determine its pitch and quality, image yourself talking to your young son, expressing your love and kindness. Then, fit your tone to your feelings, and you can discover the correct pitch and depth of the emotive tone. Keep it manly and strong. It is the attracting, harmonizing and winning tone.
The power-tone is used to command and direct successfully. It is lower in pitch than the mental-tone and lacks the winning quality of the feeling tone. Direct commands in words often arouse opposition; but soft words and strong power-tones awaken no such opposition. The power-tone communicates the command which will be obeyed.
Persuading and convincing are factors of the art of selling. Selling, in its larger sense, is the basis of human relationship ; for, whenever two human beings converse, one sells the other something. It may be a thing, or it may be an idea, or it may be an ideal, or a personal impression. If successful in selling, you lead the other person's mind to see and feel and desire as you do. To do this, you first win by attraction, and then impel by conviction. Choose your tones wisely.
Woe to you if you attempt by a mental tone to persuade a woman.
Why, then, try to use such a tone to persuade a man to buy ? Yet, you are in the habit of doing so; for, when you go to another person with a proposition about which you have been thinking, it is natural to use a mental tone, because your mind is centered upon the ideas of your proposition. To win, first think less of your ideas and more of the man-to-man relationship you wish to establish between the other man and yourself. Use the feeling-tone for this. Then, use the power tone to impel a decision.
The experienced salesman has learned by many failures not to depend upon the mental tone. Instead, he uses a brotherly tone in talking to his prospects. He talks as a brother who wishes to act as a benefactor, and who wishes to render a service.
The mental-tone should be used only in gaining the attention of the mind of the other person when you present information or explain.
The emotive or feeling-tone should be used to convey to the buyer's mind a true consciousness of your honor, of your kindnesses, of your courtesy, of your desire to serve. It should always be used to win and to persuade.
The power-tone should be used in commanding. It always suggests your solidity, your capacity, and your right to direct others.
He was a tall man, and well built! His knees sagged.
His shoulders drooped.
His arms hung loosely.
His hands flopped as he shuffled along. His lower jaw sagged.
His mouth was weak, and habitually hung half opened.
And he said, "I'm the kind of man who knows what he wants, and always gets it!" I did not believe him!
Words are nothing, when actions belie them!