There is a quote by Edward R. Murrow that I’ve always loved. “To be persuasive, we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; to be credible we must be truthful.”
This brings me to the topic of communication. In sales, it’s crucial because if you can’t talk the talk then your customers will walk the walk…in the other direction. Your communication with clients and customers must be meaningful, friendly and easy to grasp because you only have scant moments for your customers to decide if they’re going to reach into their wallets.
Many times when I’m lecturing or in seminars, I will have someone in sales ask me: “Scott, what do I do when I have to make the dreaded cold call or do an unrequested presentation to an audience that could care less?”
Those are moments that sales people dread, but it doesn’t have to be that way. I can help you find ways to take moments of uncertainty and turn them into sure fire success stories. Here are a few simple tips:
*Remember that the first few moments with your client really DO count. This is the time where you’re either going to open up your client or have them shut down…sometimes permanently. You must learn how to build up a quick rapport that creates a natural way to communicate. First, concentrate on your tone. The intention or inflection behind your words must be evident in your voice.
In fact, your tone is even more important than your words or message. Your tone shouldn’t be fake or overly excited (which is strange to most ears and insincere), but one that’s confident, intelligent, knowledgeable and energetic. Think upbeat, positive and intriguing. Your audience should want to hear more. Remember that you set the tone and control it. Make adjustments as you see necessary.
*Don’t fall into the routine of your presentation because then you won’t motivate an ant. Have you ever been interrupted by the shrill ring of the phone during dinner? We pick up and a telemarketer starts rambling on in a monotone from a script. We’re upset and not just because our mashed potatoes are getting cold. It’s even more annoying when someone is just rambling a jumble of words into our ears. It’s obvious that they don’t care, but are just rushing through their pitch.
Don’t race through your mental script just to get it “over with” so you can close the deal. Think about the meaning of what you’re saying and then pretend you’re a radio show host. Really appeal to your audience because with each sale, “It’s your show.”
*Make sure your body backs you up. All of us fall into a rut and, without knowing it, we start communicating what we don’t want to say with our bodies. Maybe your shoulders are slumped down or you tend not to look clients in the eyes. Perhaps you gesture too much or stand there stiff like a tree. Pay closer attention to your physical presence during sales. Remember good posture, make eye contact and only gesture when it’s needed, but don’t be too stiff.
During face-to-face encounters, the client is examining you as you are the show. Your presence must be “the other half” of your presentation. Anything less and it will take away from your words and the focal point will be how you’re looking over her shoulder or how your head sort of sinks down.
Remember the basics.
I’ll discuss further communication tips with you again in this blog. For now, take these three tips and really put them into play next week. Remember your tone, your motivation and your physical presence during each and every sales pitch. Write down in a notebook or keep track on your laptop what you have been doing and how you’re changing it up.
Suddenly, you will find that you’re not just talking the talk, but making the tough sales.