If you work in a sales job, effective communication should be your primary goal.
Whether it’s a one-on-one interview, a motivational speech to your team or a keynote address, your success is defined by your ability to persuade with clarity and passion. If you want to stand out in the crowd, get promoted or develop an award-winning sales team, you’ll need to polish your communication, persuasion and selling skills to a fine art.
How Important Is The Language I Use?
Whether you’re on a commission or a salary, your income and career advancement are linked to your selling skills, your ability to communicate and your flair for persuasion. You could be selling insurance or setting targets for your reps, but if you want to capture someone’s interest and gain consensus, you need to conjure clear and inspiring images with the simple merit of words.
Vivid language transports the listener and you should be using analogies, metaphors, stories and anecdotes to focus and stimulate the mind, keeping your listeners emotionally involved.
4 Types Of Audience Members
Not only do people with top selling skills have animated, dynamic language at their command, but they know how to tailor it to their audience.
One theory, which has its roots in the “4 humours” theory adopted by Greek philosophers, suggests humans have one of 4 temperaments: aggressive, expressive, passive or analytical. For leaders to influence colleagues and customers, they need to be able to quickly and accurately recognise these character types, and adapt their language to the different personalities in their audience.
- The aggressive style is results-oriented. They ask "what" questions, value achievement and fear loss of control. When presenting to this buying style, you should mention concepts like control, flexibility, bottom line, power, challenge, speed, money, functionality, results, goals, options, hands-on elements, speed, freedom and immediacy.
- The expressive, emotional style is people-oriented. To use effective selling skills with this audience, you’ll be asking "who" questions, valuing recognition and understanding their fear of the loss of prestige. When presenting to this buying style, you should mention concepts like fun, entertaining, creativity, friendliness, simplicity, prestige, the new, the ultimate, exclusivity, improvements, spontaneity, excitement, enjoyment, cash and adventure.
- The passive, harmonious style is service-oriented. They ask "how" questions, value appreciation and fear conflict. When presenting to this buying style, you should mention concepts like support, service, family, harmony, dependability, care, cooperation, helpfulness, ease, sincerity, love, kindness, concern, consideration, gentleness and relationship.
The analytical, cautious style is quality-oriented. They ask "why" questions, value accuracy and fear being viewed as incompetent. When presenting to this buying style, you should mention concepts like safety, science, proof, value, learning, guarantees, saving, bargains, the economical, quality, logic, reliability, accuracy, perfection, security, precision and efficiency.
What Are The Magic Phrases?
Audience-specific language can be reinforced with what marketing researchers have coined "magic words".
People with strong selling skills will be familiar with these power phrases, using them to create interest, generate enthusiasm and motivate people to take action. Think of concepts like guaranteed success, live your dreams, fast and easy access, unlock your potential, accept no substitute, time-tested, go with a winner, the results are in, extra savings, and one-stop shopping.
Some people are born communicators, but most of us will have to work on our communication skills. Developing the ability to speak with power and passion takes time and effort to master, but the dividends will more than justify your dedication.