Attention Sales World… Are You Using Clear, Concise And Connecting Language?
“A man’s character may be learned from the adjectives which he habitually uses in conversation.
What adjectives are you using when engaging in conversation with your clients?
I believe many in sales are not paying attention to the specific words they use. These words get spewed out automatically as you expect them to accurately convey a message.
Have you ever given thought to how your clients feel with your messaging and communication?
Words matter and so does your messaging.
Mark Twain once observed that “the difference between the right word and the almost-right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”
I’m a firm believer that you must use your words wisely.
Being clear and concise with your words does matter.
With trust being anemically low, you can no longer take communication for granted. Just because words are coming out of your mouth doesn’t mean your point is getting across.
Think about how this applies to environments where relationships matter, it’s worth being intentional with your words.
In a world where first impressions mean something, where trust is low and credibility matters… My question to all of you, how are you expanding your vocabulary to effectively connect with your clients and future clients?
THERE IS POWER BEHIND WORDS
“Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.”
You never know when one word, one sentence or one paragraph can positively affect someone’s day. On the flip side, failing to pay attention to the words you use may negatively impact their day, their thoughts or how they feel about you.
You must align your words, voice inflection, tonality, eye expression, and body language, in an honest exchange. This is what Selling from the Heart is all about.
You must become disciplined to speak in a manner which conveys respect, credibility and humility.
Polishing one’s vocabulary is the sign of a mature sales professional.
Thich Nhat Hanh, a contemporary Buddhist monk, global peace worker, and the author of, Being Peace, shares… “Speaking honestly in any negotiation between individuals or groups is necessary. Speaking the truth in a loving way is also necessary.”
Hahn goes on to say, “We must be ‘lovingly honest’; we must discipline ourselves to speak in a manner that conveys respect, gentleness, and humility.”
How can you apply this to your communication?
Let’s pause for a moment and reflect on how society in general views the sales world…
Now, I would like for you to think about how you are carrying yourself, the words you are using, the messaging you are using, and how all of this might be connecting or disconnecting you from your clients.
WORDS AND YOUR MESSAGING ARE LIKE SEEDS
Napoleon Hill once said,
“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.”
You have a choice in the kinds of words you use.
Proverbs 18:21 states, “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.”
When you consistently plant the vocabulary seeds of professionalism, you will reap a fruitful sales life.
To quote Robert Louis Stevenson,
“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.”
Think about how you’re communicating with your clients, what may be going on in their world? What can you do to build them up and to provide them comfort in knowing you can help?
I encourage all of you to plant the biggest seed of all, and this would be the seed of being impeccable with your words.
In Don Miguel Ruiz’s amazing book, The Four Agreements, the first agreement is to be impeccable with your words. This means that before you speak, you choose your words carefully as they have the power to create or destroy.
Be thoughtful about what you say and how you say it. Every time you open your mouth becomes an opportunity for you to stay true to yourself and what you value.
This is why I believe that using plain simple language removes the barrier between your clients, your future clients and yourself.
This will set you apart from all the other salespeople. This allows you to move from communication to connection. And isn’t this what you want?
CRYSTAL CLEAR COMMUNICATION ALLOWS CONNECTION
“Speak clearly, if you speak at all; carve every word before you let it fall.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
Was Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. onto something when it came to communication?
Back in the 1800’s, he surrounded himself with the literary legends, such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Together, they left a massive imprint within the literary world of the 19th century that flows right into the present.
Why am I bringing this into this message? Because of another one his quotes…
“Language is the blood of the soul into which thoughts run and out of which they grow.”
Whether you’re a tenured salesperson, sales leader or just starting out your career, the language you use, how you communicate it and how well you engage in meaningful conversations are foundational skill sets you must master to catapult your sales career.
Salespeople, well over 200 years ago they were writing about it.
Connection leverages influence. Are you influencing your clients? If not, then who is?
If you want to elevate yourself to new sales heights, you must hone in on developing your conversational, people and relational skills.
SALES JARGON, COMPLICATED WORDS AND PROFANITY
Allow this quote to sink in for a moment,
“Jargon allows us to camouflage intellectual poverty with verbal extravagance.”
David Pratt, Foreign Editor, Sunday Herald
What’s concerning is how many salespeople use the same, overused sets of sales jargon to describe situations as a replacement for just speaking plain old normal language.
Are you using simple and straightforward language to connect with your clients?
Hiding behind catch phrases and buzzwords is not a cool way to lead your sales life.
We live in a world where people love using profanity to drive home their points.
They insist this is part of their authenticity. They insist this is being true to who they are.
Profanity might be what the cool people like to use, however; I urge you to think twice before dropping that F-Bomb or S-Bomb.
Whatever the case may be, I urge you to build your vocabulary by reading and studying so that you can express yourself simply and eloquently.
“The definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple.”
Therefore, stop hiding behind complex sales phrases, jargon and crapola!
Empty sales reps cover up their lack of understanding and experience with science, jargon, and overly complicated sales phrases, all because they think it sounds good.
Hello! All this does is confuse, alienate and distract you and your clients from business betterment.
You can’t hide behind simplicity. Think about it.
Salespeople and yes, even sales leaders… Your clients deserve plain, simple and easy to understand language when communicating with them.
- Simplicity gets your message across.
- Simplicity is understandable.
- Simplicity requires less time to explain.
In other words, using unclear and overly complicated cliche ridden sales jargon reflects upon you with unclarity and canned thinking.
CLEAR, SIMPLE BUSINESS LANGUAGE
Language connects people, and it nurtures connections. It allows us to form, build and grow relationships, whether personal or professional.
Albert Einstein once said,
“If you can’t explain something simply, you don’t understand it well.”
Using plain and simple language is not a sign of sales weakness!
Industry jargon can become a habit.
Salespeople assume it sounds impressive to use big words and flowery sales language.
I ask all of you to…
- Ditch your ego – An important part of embracing plain language is letting go of your desire to use impressive words.
- Keep it simple – Use familiar and easy to understand words.
Think about simplicity as you watch the following video, courtesy of Siegel and Gale. They are a brand strategy and design company out of New York City. Its corporate tagline is “Simple is smart.” Each year, they release a study called a “The World’s Simplest Brands”.
In your conversations, the only thing you can control is yourself, your behavior, and how you carry yourself.
Imagine how your client conversations could turn out by speaking effectively and listening consciously. You and your clients leave conversations energized, inspired and action oriented.
Simplicity creates connection and simplicity creates loyalty!
Are you using clear, concise and connecting language with your clients?
Originally published on Larry Levine’s LinkedIn.