Language, the words you use (and the way in which you deliver them) is a critical success factor when connecting with your clients and potential clients. The quality of the conversations you have, determines the quality of the outcome.

Too often, we communicate what we’d want to hear ourselves. What if instead, you were to consider what your buyer or prospective client wants, or needs, to hear?

The language that you’re using can help create rapport, trust and credibility with your clients and potential clients. It can also demonstrate that you’re clear on the problem that needs solving and that you are without a doubt, the person that can help. Or, it can have the opposite effect.

Nothing has meaning but the meaning we give it.

We are continuously (and unconsciously) attaching meaning to different words based on our experiences, our beliefs, our values and the way we see the world.

Real-world example:

Let’s look at the word ‘hustle’. Agreeing on the meaning of the word hustle has sparked many a great debate and at times, heated discussions. In truth, it’s not the meaning of the word that’s created the debate; it’s the challenging of our beliefs and what we believe to be true that ignites the controversy. Not the word itself.

There are two extremes when it comes to people’s meaning of the word ‘hustle’. One is the worst possible scenario, in that it represents conning people and ripping them off. At the other end of the spectrum it’s viewed in a constructive light, representative of resourcefulness and implying drive and determination.

So who is right?

Perception is reality and each individual meaning and definition is right for the person giving it. This is why when you’re having a conversation with a client you must ensure that you’re delving (3 levels) deep to uncover what the true meaning is, from what a client is saying. It’s their truth, so we need to make sure we don’t apply our own truth to their meaning.

Why does this matter?

Imagine you’re having a conversation with someone and you’re completely mis-interpreting the meaning they’re giving you because you’re assuming it aligns with your meaning.

In the case of the word ‘hustle’, they might be talking about conning someone whilst you’re talking about helping someone. Given the power of the word association from both parties, miscommunication and potential chaos ensues (or a missed opportunity, at the least).

When you’re communicating with your clients, prospects, team – anyone at all, make sure you’re taking the time to find out what they truly mean with the words they say and the language they’re using.

You can easily incorporate meaningful language checks into your communication style, by asking probing or drill down questions, such as ‘what do you mean by x’ or ‘when you say y, what does that look like’ or, ‘tell me about z’. Take the time to truly uncover what your prospect means and the results will speak for themselves.

 

Nicky Miklos-Woodley is an Evergreen Sales & Business Coach, Trainer and Speaker. 

There is a common stigma attached to ‘sales’ and yet, sales are so critical to the success of all businesses. The hard truth is without sales, your business is a hobby. 

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