Secrets to Becoming a Master Communicator
By Debbie Allen
Knowing how to effectively communicate is essential for any person to become successful in sales. The purpose of communication is to get your message across to your prospects in the best way possible. Good communication takes skill, since messages can often become misinterpreted by one or more of the parties involved. When this happens it causes unnecessary confusion and moves you further away from connecting to your prospect.
Your communication is successful only when both the sender and the receiver perceive it in the same way. By successfully getting your message across, you convey your thoughts and ideas effectively. When not successful, the thoughts and ideas that you convey do not necessarily reflect your own, causing a communication breakdown. This breakdown can cause you to lose trust and belief in your prospect.
To communicate effectively, you must clearly understand what your core message is, and how your prospect will perceive your message.
Communication breakdown can pop up at every stage of the sale, causing you to lose out on many sales opportunities. Therefore, to become a more effective communicator and get your point across without misunderstanding and confusion, your goal should be to lessen the frequency of communication breakdown at each stage of the process with clear, concise, accurate, well-planned communication.
Stage #1: To establish yourself as a master sales communicator you must first establish credibility with your prospect. This involves displaying knowledge of the subject, your prospect and the context in which your message is delivered.
Stage #2: Consider the message itself. Written, oral and nonverbal communications all are affected by your tone, your individual communication style of communication, what you leave in and what you leave out of the conversation. How you communicate both verbally and in writing is very important to how your prospect perceives your point of view. What you want your message to do is to motivate and inspire your prospects into taking action and buying from you.
Stage #3: Consider how best to communicate with your prospect. You may choose to communicate verbally in person, by telephone, email, letters, greeting cards, etc.
Stage #4: Keep in mind the actions or reactions you hope your message prompts in your prospect.
Keep in mind too, that your prospect also enters into the conversation with his or her own communication style. Their communication will include new ideas, feelings and emotions that will undoubtedly influence how they understand and relate to your message, and also how they respond. To be a master sales communicator, you must consider these possible responses before delivering your message. This will allow you to be prepared and ready to respond with the appropriate communication skills.
Stage #5: Your prospect will provide you with personal feedback, verbal and nonverbal reactions to your communicated message. To deliver your message effectively, you must commit to breaking down the barriers that exist in each of these stages of the communication process. If your message is too lengthy, disorganized, or contains incorrect information about your products or services, you can expect to be misunderstood. Also, the use of ineffective body language that confuses the message or shows your lack of confidence will also allow you to disconnect with your prospect.
Don’t offer too much information too soon. When in doubt, less is oftentimes more. Remember to listen more and communicate less verbally when you begin a conversation with a new prospect. Be respectful of your prospect’s time, and keep their interests and concerns in the forefront.
Once you understand how these five stages work and start to implement them into your sale’s message, you will soon discover your communication skills improving.
Mastering Your Persuasion Power
You persuade by mastering the art and the skill of effective communication. Your ability to communicate effectively regardless of the message will help you to exceed your sales goals time and time again.
Communication and persuasion are the same from the point that you cannot communicate with another person without, at the same time, influencing that person. Rapport is a natural function of communication that is brought about by honoring the person with whom you are communicating. Your goal should be to find out what your prospect wants and/or needs. Then discover how you can help your prospect reach their goal and/or solve their problem.
When selling a product, targeting people who are already interested in that product makes sense. There is no resistance, only feedback. Communicating effectively is not about being in control, but rather about being able to recognize what you are, in fact, eliciting with your communication, and having the flexibility to adjust accordingly.
A master sales communicator is someone who chooses to influence his or her prospects ethical and respectful communication, versus an ineffective sales communicator who tries to influence his or her prospect out of manipulation and fear.
When you set out to get an outcome that is strictly a win/lose model, or if you choose to abandon any future possible consequences for your communication, you are opening the door for eventual failure.
By accepting to master the art of effective sales communication, you are doing more to build long-lasting customer relations. You will also maximize your opportunity to offer clear, effective, meaningful communication that is based on a positive outcome. You will soon discover how your own master communication skills will powerfully and impact-fully become unforgettable in your customer’s minds.
Why focus on these skills today?
Because if you don’t someone else will. And your financial future will quickly be affected.
The process of interpersonal communication is monumental. Yet, it is simply one of the most natural acts on this planet. If you build a useful model, then you will not have to worry about whether you are doing it right … because you will see it pay off quickly with increased sales.
Begin using your communication as a means of increasing your sales, and pay close attention to the response you are getting. Are you achieving and exceeding your goals?
Check the response to your outcome, or at least to where you are in getting that outcome. Then, adjust your output. Test and test again until you have it mastered.
If you take what you already know how to do, and you reorganize that information while putting together your sale’s system, you will find yourself using them automatically in the context they are then designed to be used in, and in the order they need to be used. You will then become a powerful and effective persuader.
The most effective business skills I have ever developed have been in the area of communication. It really doesn’t matter what you sell or what industry in which you work. If you cannot impact or affect the people you want, or need to affect, the level of success you will be able to generate will also be affected.
How to Effectively Influence Prospects
You can influence another person’s reactions or choices, but your prospect has the choice of whether or not to respond to you and how to respond to you. Refusing to control yourself and trying to control others is a waste of time.
When you try to control what you cannot, you lose control of yourself. Your sense of power, part of your self-esteem, depends upon your satisfaction with your own sales performance. And if you are trying to control someone else, you begin to think of what they do as part of your own performance. Trying to control someone during a sales presentation is like stepping outside of boundaries or borders between countries. There are also boundaries and borders between people. To communicate effectively, these boundaries should not be crossed.
To achieve the ultimate satisfaction with your sales performance, it depends upon divorcing the value of your action from the results. You can only do what you can do — there are other factors outside yourself and your control that influence the outcome, including the behavior of other people. This is part of taking personal responsibility for your actions. You are completely responsible for what you do, think or feel, and for whom you are. But you are not responsible for the outside factors of your prospects.
Often type A’s and/or aggressive salespeople are more likely to try to control the behavior of their prospects. Often when losing a sale they can become frustrated, angry and hostile from trying to control the behavior of others or trying to control other things that are not within their power. Since I fit into this category, I personally have had to learn this the hard way.
Control simply means choice. Self-control is of emotions, thoughts, body and behavior. When you control your emotions rather than eliminate your emotions in selling, you choose more positive and effective responses.
Emotions have a direct and immediate impact upon your communication. You control your emotions through your thoughts and behaviors, which in turn, affects how your message comes across to others.
By controlling your thoughts you are able to choose when to think, what to think about, how to think about it and to not think about something.
Controlling your communication behavior means being able to choose everything you say within the limitations of time, place and conditions.
The salesperson that realizes that they are the only one in control of how they act upon their own choices becomes very powerful. Self-control, power and influence all affect how you communicate. The salesperson that understands this is most influential upon others. The self-controlled salesperson is admired and sought-after as a leader.
Although an influential salesperson can connect with more prospects, they can also intimidate people who are insecure. Continue to discover the difference between control and influence, and you have the keys to mastering the art of communication. As you do, you will improve the range and intensity of your influence and the probability of boosting your sales confidence and exceeding your goals!
Debbie Allen is one of the world’s leading authorities on sales and marketing. She is the author of five books including Confessions of Shameless Self Promoters and Skyrocketing Sales. Debbie has helped thousands of people around the world attract customers like crazy with her innovative, no-cost marketing strategies and secrets to sales success. Her expertise has been featured in Entrepreneur, Selling Power and Sales & Marketing Excellence. Sign up for her FREE 6-week e-Course Business Success Secrets Revealed ($97 value) and take the online business card quiz to rate you marketing online now at http://www.DebbieAllen.com.