“The chief virtue that language can have is clarity.”
What’s forever old is forever new.
Let’s take the quote from Hippocrates and apply this to sales…
The language you use, how you carry yourself and how you interact with your clients… is it clear, concise and understandable to your clients?
It would appear, even back in Hippocrates’ day which was between the 5th and 4th centuries BC, business professionals had tendencies to confuse their stakeholders with acronyms, jargon, and odd conversations.
Folks, we all can agree, this is still happening today. Why does it have to be so complicated?
Some of your clients and future clients may be able to follow jargon or your sophisticated phraseology, however; you will stand a far better chance of ensuring understanding with clear, simple, common language.
Clarity is mission critical to your success.
Are you obsessed with making things crystal clear and understandable?
When things are clear and understandable, your clients can make better decisions and move in the right direction.
So, in our time together, I encourage you, ditch the filtered sales lifestyle and bring clarity to your clients.
Brian Tracy once said,
“Lack of clarity is the primary reason for failure in business and personal life”
Clarity, this becomes even more important as we bring in social media into the equation.
Social platforms have become the hot spot for distortions, filters and where the real versions of who we are remain backstage.
We take selfies. We photoshop, curate and upload the best we got, then we hold our breath and pray for attention.
In the world of social media, social acting, fantasy island and a filtered lifestyle has become the norm.
Let’s think like one of your clients or a future client for a moment… do ever wonder if this runs through their mind?
Stop trying to impress me. I can make up my own mind about whether I like you; trust you; or even believe you. You don’t have to make up my mind for me.
When you bring clarity to the forefront, when you bring conciseness to the forefront and when you bring conviction to the forefront, you enable people to make better decisions which create better outcomes.
Whether this be face to face interactions or how you choose to interact online, in today’s business environment this of the utmost of importance.
People are watching you!
CLARITY CREATES CONNECTION
“Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success.”
Paul J. Meyer
Human connection must be placed front and center. It must be placed on the business pedestal. We’re all wired to connect. It is part of the prescription for health and happiness.
It’s how we influence and lead.
When you’re communicating, whether it’s written, verbal, or even on social platforms, you must be clear. This doesn’t mean using fancy words, acronyms or drawn-out sentences. This means intentionally choosing your words, making sure your message is easy to understand.
Clarity, the difference between sales reps and sales professionals.
Clarity avoids misunderstandings
Clarity builds trust
Clarity leaves a lasting impression
Without clarity, it becomes backbreaking for people to understand you and your message. And, if they do not understand, they certainly will not act upon it.
When you hide behind filters, when you camouflage your appearance, when you struggle to effectively communicate or position yourself… You are robbing your clients of letting them see the real you.
If you’re looking for true human and heartfelt connection, then I encourage you to ditch the filtered lifestyle and positioning.
“Clarity is like casting light. Clarity allows us to see better and eases the path of understanding. ”
How are you holding up so far?
Get ready because we are going to dive deep into why you must ditch the filtered appearance and lifestyle.
Allow me to introduce you to Erving Goffman. He was a Canadian sociologist who developed a theory applying dramaturgy as a theatrical metaphor for human beings in the world.
It was through his 1959 book, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life that he outlined this approach applying dramaturgy.
Goffman used theatre as the analogy to represent how people behave in society and represent themselves.
As you follow along me, I ask you to think about how are you connecting, how you are you positioning yourself, and are you creating clarity or are you hiding behind sales filters?
According to Goffman and his approach, the individual (let’s say you) is an actor and society is a stage. Simply stated, he points out the commonalities between theatrical performances and the ‘acts’ that human beings put on in their everyday interactions.
“Human social interactions are fragile, maintained by performances.”
He further went on to say,
“I shall consider how the individual in ordinary work situations presents himself and his activity to others, how he guides and controls the impression they form of him, and the kind of things he may or may not do while sustaining his performance before them.”
Now this is where we tie this all together…
Goffman wanted to bring to the forefront the way that people try to control the impression they make on others in social encounters, doesn’t this sound familiar as this is happening at rampant rates today.
Let’s apply this to you in sales… You want to be received well. You want to be taken as credible.
However, at the same time, others (your clients and future clients) are interested in checking up on your sincerity, and your trustworthiness as someone worth spending time with.
It’s the idea that our lives are on constant display as if we’re actors.
He believed all our interactions consist of adjusting to other people and our roles in their lives. We enact these roles in the company of others, who are in turn enacting their roles in interaction with us.
He believed that whatever we do, we are playing out some role on the stage of life.
In his work, he noted there is a front stage and a backstage. As we go on with our lives, we are mostly on the front stage. This applies to how we are at work, at the grocery store, or when meeting someone new. And the backstage is where we become our true selves. It’s our private place.
Only our closest friends and family see us when we’re backstage. But since many fake their personality with everyone, all they see is the front stage.
So, imagine for a moment, if you allowed your clients backstage, what could possibly happen? What could happen to connection? What could happen to how they view you? And most important, would it bring clarity to the relationship?
The backstage of life is where true connection happens.
It becomes hard to connect when many position themselves with filters, distortion and misguidedness.
Question for all of you to think about… Are you being the real YOU on the front stage of life?
“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.”
DITCH THE FILTER BEGINS THE JOURNEY TO CLARITY
I encourage you to bring your backstage self to the front stage by bringing your authentic self to the forefront. Rediscover who you are and make the commitment to yourself.
Conversations allow you to connect, whether this be online, face to face, phone or through virtual platforms. These are the strongest sales tool’s you have to effectively build credible relationships as you bring your backstage self to the front stage.
Are you having meaningful front stage conversations?
When’s the last time you had a conversation and heard this…
“Wow, this was one of the best conversations I’ve ever had!”
Conversations build relationships, and relationships build businesses. The way this happens is through backstage conversations that you have on the front stage of business.
On the front stage of business, what do your clients care about? What does your marketplace care about? They don’t care about your canned pitches, outlandish pattern interrupt videos, and braggadocious messaging.
Imagine for a moment, if more salespeople and leaders ditched the empty rhetoric and invested in personal and heartfelt growth, there wouldn’t be as many empty suits, digital narcissists and bad sales actors.
How do your clients view you?
BRINGING BACKSTAGE TO THE FOREFRONT CREATES CONNECTION
“Anything with your name should leave a lasting impression!”
What impression are you leaving on the front stage of your business life?
Is this allowing you to connect, collaborate on deeper levels, and with more clarity?
I must go back to Erving Goffman as we bring this to a close. Keep in mind, his studies were done in the 1950’s through 1970’s and I believe are super relevant today.
He coined the term Impression Management. This refers to the desire to manipulate others’ impressions of us on the front stage. According to Goffman, people use various mechanisms, called Sign Vehicles, to present themselves to others.
The most employed sign vehicles are the following:
- Social settings
- Manner of interacting with others
Think about how these sign vehicles get magnified through the many social platforms and all the front stage conversations you have with your clients… first impressions matter backstage and they sure matter front stage.
If first impressions matter, then what are you doing about it?
I will ask you to remember the person you’re in front of, your clients, as they may be saying to themselves:
- Can you see me?
- Do you hear me?
- Can I understand what you’re saying?
Allow me to leave you all with this…
Bring clarity to your clients and future clients and watch how fast you connect on deeper levels.
Originally published on Larry Levine’s LinkedIn.