“Who are you?”. When was the last time you asked a new or existing Client, “Tell me who you are…”. Could you lead with that question and not look at your feet when asking? Why lay yourself open? Why not? – ask some of the world’s best Communicators.
Powerful communication skills are either part of our DNA or we fail in some very fundamental way. Ouch! Failure to communicate with great effectiveness in a letter, a Play, a conversation or a sales appointment is the difference between getting our needs met or missing the mark. The mark in business is reaching our Goals. Our human nature requires daily (and for some of us) hourly feedback on how we are doing. Over time, we learn to control that primal hunger but let’s face – it’s always there – we’re always insatiably hungry – ‘what about me?’ it screams. We are built for feed back and we are built to communicate. It’s in our genes to be ‘known’. And learning how to communicate effectively makes every relationship (business and personal) more valuable.
The down and dirty is the effective communication builds and maintains relationship. Relationships are built and can be maintained by positive encounters with others. Communication is the Key to this process – without effective skills it will be difficult to properly construct and foster productive relationships.
For Business to grow and for salespeople to succeed it’s important to concentrate on Authenticity when we communicate. John Maxwell, noted Author, Motivational speaker and Leader wrote an inspiring piece called, The Law of Empowerment. Maxwell writes, “as Leaders (read Salespeople) we can only lift others up when we’re standing on a firm foundation. Purpose, authenticity and humility give us a secure, stable base from which to Lead” For our purposes let’s start with Authenticity. Maxwell explains, ‘Authenticity means being comfortable in your own skin. Authentic people have self-awareness, self respect, self confidence and emotional maturity. They prize integrity above image, and they seek to build trust with others on the basis of their personal character”.
Communicating authentically means we have also learned how to LISTEN effectively. Ssssshhh, listen. Communicating with a Client is just like communicating with a significant other – if you don’t listen as much as you speak you’ll never reach a mutually satisfactory conclusion. It’s tempting to want to TALK when you have an objective and the information you think the customer needs to make a decision. But! you will find that with practice LISTENING to your customer will make or break your sales technique. For example, a good listener will learn about their Clients needs, values, motivations and/or budget. A good listener will detect changes in the Clients tone or mood. Buzz words that signal the Clients resistance or openness to closing will be revealed to an intentional listener. And finally an adept listener will sense excitement or hostility to the Salesperson or product.
But be cautioned communicating effectively takes persistence and patience. The road to becoming a Master Communicator will be paved with good intentions but take heart it’s in your DNA to do it! Try it tonight.