They say that some ridiculously high percentage of communication is non-verbal.

That percentage varies based on which study you read, but one thing's for sure: It's not just the words you use themselves that matter.

By now you've heard about the importance of body language and such, but today I want to address another specific piece of the puzzle that's crucial to get handled.

That's the inflection of your voice when you're talking to women.

"Inflection", of course, refers to how you deliver your words. The tone and cadence of what you say is a big part of "non verbal" communication.

Now, I'm not altogether convinced it's a coincidence that "inflection" is just one letter off from "infection". After all, the inflection many of us use when talking to women is pretty sick indeed...and not in the good way.

In fact, I don't think it's too strong a statement to say that "infected inflection" could be one of the most widespread "hidden detractors" that keep men from getting anywhere with women.

Have you ever been left in the dust wondering what on Earth went wrong with a woman? You feel like you SAID the right words, made the right moves, etc.

"Infected inflection" might very well be the culprit.

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I've known for ages how powerful this factor is, but it wasn't until a recent coaching call with a Ten-Plus guy that I was left to ponder the full-on gravitas of it all.

My friend on the telephone and I had just about everything going for him in life, except he couldn't quite get women to return his calls as consistently as he would have liked.

A few days prior to one of our sessions he'd gathered up the nerve to approach a very confident hottie who had just gotten off of her 1000cc sportbike.

You can pretty much picture the scene. A firebreathing superbike pulls to a halt outside, off comes the helmet...and she brushes back her long, flowing black hair.

Very nice. But let's face it, that's not exactly the least intimidating woman in the world to approach. She'll likely have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to wimpy dudes.

Sure enough, our hero approaches her, makes conversation with her, and gets her number. Outstanding. So far, so good.

He calls her a couple of days later and leaves her a voicemail.

But he gets no response. Even after 48 hours.

She had seemed interested when he met her, so he was wondering what he could have possibly said in a simple voicemail to crater his chances.

I asked him to tell me what his message to her sounded like.

When I heard the words, a few too many of them were "just". And as you've read from me before, that doesn't generally work in one's favor with regard to talking to women.

And there was that infamous "Heyyyy...." at the beginning, which betrays trying too hard.

But what hit me between the eyes was the inflection of his voice as he recounted his message to her.

Suddenly, I knew why she hadn't returned his call.

I recommended waiting about another day before leaving her a second voice mail, figuring she'd likely not answer the phone since that first message had disinterested her.

I also suggested some very concrete changes in how he talked as he left the message.

Two days later, she returned his second call and they happily went out together.

What made the difference?

To give you a concrete answer, let's consider the story of two vehicles from my past.

The first was a certain 1998 Dodge Durango. Since I wanted one of the first ones that rolled off the assembly line back when they first came out, I went ahead and got the black one rather than waiting an extra couple of months for my first color choice.

But two years later when it was time to sell it, its color became a liability. I lived where it got to be 110 degrees in the summertime.

Nevertheless, I had my eye on a shiny new vehicle of a completely different type, and I desparately wanted that Durango out of my garage.

The key word in that last paragraph is "desperately".

So I posted an ad in the paper.

Finally, after what felt like an agonizing wait, a call came in.

On the other end of the line, a low and decidedly monotone voice announced, "I'm calling about the Durango."

Immediately, I launched into eagerly describing every feature of the truck and went on about how it was in such great shape, had low miles, etc.

***click***

Huh? But I made the truck sound so good.

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Now if I'd had my thinking cap on, I would have learned a valuable life lesson from about a year earlier.

That was when I found myself needing to sell a certain firebreathing '98 Yamaha YZF-R1 carrying factory serial number "000100".

After a year-long wait for one of the most anticipated new sportbikes of all time, my local Yamaha dealer had handed me the keys to the very first one in the entire state of Texas.

Four months later, the factory still hadn't delivered many bikes AT ALL...even though demand was MASSIVE.

Mine had under 500 miles on it, was in perfect shape...and unfortunately, it needed to be sold.

So I posted it in the Cycle Trader magazine.

And man, I knew as soon as the issue hit the stands because I was suddenly inundated with calls...even though I was asking $2000 over the MSRP for the bike.

One guy from Ft. Worth--an 8-hour drive from where I lived--was first to reach me.

He called me, anxiously asking questions and exhorting me to please not sell the bike until he could arrive at my front door in nine hours with a pickup truck and a cashier's check.

In a low and decidedly matter-of-fact voice, I replied, "OK man. Make it happen and I'll be here."

Nine hours and fifteen minutes later my bike was his. He had paid every penny of my asking price.

Now ask yourself, who was in control during each of those respective conversations?

Sure...it was whoever had more options.

So let's consider for a minute the last time someone tried to sell you something that was in LOW demand. You know, something you may in fact had not really wanted all that much anyway.

What was the inflection of the salesguy's voice?

My guess that he talked fast, possibly in a higher pitch than he might during "normal" conversation, and that each sentence ended with an upturn in the tone of his voice.

And you quite probably detected that he was attempting to be particularly "nice"...as if he was walking on eggshells to keep from scaring you away (and therefore losing a potential sale).

What you were hearing was the voice of a desperate, needy man whose family needed food on the table.

Okay, so now consider the last time you went somewhere to happily buy the newest, latest and greatest iPhone, video game or AMG Mercedes.

What was the inflection of that salesguy's voice like?

My guess is that it was more calm and reserved. Or maybe he even gave you bold, direct answers to questions you asked...no walking on eggshells necessary.

No matter what, there was no fear of loss to be detected anywhere.

You may have even forgotten he was paid on commission there for a second.

Indeed...he wasn't really "selling". His job was simply to help YOU buy...if you were actually fortunate enough to get there on time before his supply ran out.

So now let's get back to my friend and "Moto Chick".

What was the difference between our hero's first (unsuccessful) voicemail and the second (successful) one?

The difference in his voice inflection was exactly the difference between the first salesguy's voice and the second one's voice.

That's all it took. The words were actually very similar in meaning...but the inflection was cured of its infection.


What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below!