Do you drag on and on and rarely make a solid point? Do you talk too much and ask too few questions? How do you communicate? Perhaps an unfortunate truth, as much as we preach the fortunes of social selling, you still need to be a brilliant communicator regardless of your profession. This is certainly the case if you are in sales. Don’t forget you need to also be an effective communicator in all channels too. You need to learn how to speak clearly on command, and most importantly these days, you need to be brief.
On being a brilliant communicator. I certainly am not there yet myself, although trying to master the craft of human interaction is a passion. I do recall however one of my most important lessons in effective communication. Information passed to me by a lifelong student/teacher of civilization himself Bill Attwell. He taught me that everything can be broken into 3 buckets (no matter what). He used Sam Slick's The Clockmaker as an example. You should read it. One of the earliest sales books I am aware of. It's about a clock salesman in the 1800's that would ride around dropping off grandfather clocks to people's houses for them to try out. He'd return on his route 3-4 months later to pick them up. More often than not, the people would be so used to having them by the time he came back they'd purchase them so he didn't take the clock away. At that time, that was a brilliant and effective approach.
Back on point, my advice is to try to:
- Always be working to master your craft. Strive for constant learning and perfection. Writing an email, making a cold call? Its all fair game/can always be improved upon. So put in the effort.
- Always look to be simplifying everything into 3 categories. Not only is it fun, it is amazingly effective and people will reward simplicity.
- Be Multi channel. My esteemed business partner Jamie Shanks and Oracles Jill Rowley frequently talk about the pitfalls of being "single threaded" in an account. In sales, that's when you only work with 1 point of contact in an account. Sound familiar? What happens when said contact takes a new role next year? Right.
In communication, being single threaded is when you over extend yourself in one method over another. Like making 100 cold calls day after day, searching for the needle in a haystack. What about endlessly emailing your customer base? You know, the one that never responds? You are over-working a muscle and it’s not optimal.
Communicate clearly and with brevity. The stereotypical lazy high school student has this one nailed. The flavor of the day is more like a grammatical accident at the corner of Text Message and Charlie Brown Prose.
The Bottom Line:
Whether its leaving a voicemail for your boss, or sending a LinkedIn Message it's imperative that you are constantly evaluating and refining your communication skills across all fronts. Keep it clear, concise, and get to the point (make sure there's a point).
Want to know more about the "how" behind effective communication and Social Selling? Check out some BLOGS on the topic or download some of our Free Helpful Resource Guides. I’m always available for a phone conversation about Social Selling if you have any specific questions – click on my Calendar to book a chat.