Do you ever feel like you are communicating with clients and it doesn?t make any sense to them? You?ve put a lot of time and effort into a great presentation, but they just don?t seem interested or engaged?
Dawn, a new radio seller, learned a valuable lesson this week about communicating with a prospect. This lesson earned her a presentation meeting with a client who originally couldn?t ?see? the value.
Originally he kept saying he just could not see how I could help him. Why would he want to buy a huge market when his market is only a 30-mile radius? Plus, radio has never worked in the past. I explained I would really like to hear about that experience because details help me understand why it did not work. He said that quite a few times too ?I just can't see it? and I realized ? he needs to visualize. So I helped him to visualize my audience. I showed him a success story to let him see how devoted and engaged my audience is. I also showed him some graphs and statistics about gun ownership with country listeners.
Telling and they aren?t listening?
Showing and they aren?t seeing?
Presenting emotionally and they don?t feel the same way?
Communication is defined as a message that is sent and received. To be a great communicator, not only do you have to have a clear message, but you have to communicate it in a style that your audience will be able to receive it.
Early in my sales career I was fascinated by the psychology of sales, and I discovered research on a subject known as neurolinguistic programming, or NLP. You can spend months digging deep into the topic, as I did, but the application for sales is fairly straightforward and easy to implement.
"Neurolinguistics" is the study of the neural mechanisms in the human brain that control the comprehension, production, and acquisition of language. In plain English, that means how to communicate effectively so people understand you.
All of us fall into one of three ?communication styles?:
1. Auditory: People receive information best when it is spoken.
2. Visual: People receive information best when they can see it, or picture it in their mind.
3. Kinesthetic: People receive information best when they can feel it, be a part of it, and/or experience it and understand how it works.
If you want to communicate most effectively with your prospects and clients, you must learn their communication style and adapt your style to match. This is when true understanding and connection occur.
The first key is to listen very carefully to the words they use. By listening to how your clients communicate with you, you will easily identify their primary communication style. I created a "Communication Style Identification Chart"; send me an e-mail and I?ll be happy to give you a copy.
When you?ve identified the communication style of your prospects and clients, it?s almost magical how much better the information and understanding will flow. Here are a few ways to communicate with the different styles.
Communicating With Auditory People:
? Speak clearly and in plain language.
? Invite questions and discussion.
? Read instructions and directions aloud.
? Ask people if they can hear what is being said.
Communicating With Visual People:
? Invite visual people to write down directions or instructions.
? Discuss ways for the other person to view or see the information.
? In person-to-person discussion watch for the ?squint? expression, which indicates the visual person doesn?t "see" the message.
? In person, maintain eye contact with the other person.
Communicating With Kinesthetic People:
? Encourage participation throughout the process or discussion.
? Be willing to answer a lot of questions about why and how things work.
? Invite questions about the ?big picture.?
? Give examples, stories, situations, and experiences ? tie it to their reality.
If you e-mail for the identification chart, I will also provide a more comprehensive list of how to communicate with each of the different styles.
Having your information seen, heard, or felt involves presenting it in the style that your prospects and clients best understand it. Taking these simple steps of identifying and then communicating in that particular style will lead you to greater relationship strength, understanding, and connection. Those things, of course, will lead to you having a greater ability to solve the problems of your clients and make more sales.
Jeff Schmidt is EVP and Partner with Chris Lytle at Sparque, Inc. You can e-mail Jeff at Jeff.Schmidt@Sparque.biz
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