I’m being clear!
Why Can’t You Understand What I’m saying?
How to Become a Better Sales Communicator
Isn’t it frustrating when you’ve thoroughly explained yourself but the person to whom you are communicating doesn’t understand what you’re trying to say? What’s wrong with them? Are they not listening?
Try this on for size. They ARE listening. It’s YOU who are the problem. What? How can that be?
According to Nozomi Morgan, in her article, Take Responsibility For Being Understood In 3 Simple Steps, “Problems arise with communication when people expect everyone around them to see the world as they see it. In other words, they expect what’s normal for them to be normal for everyone else.”
Well, it’s not. We are all different and assimilate information in different ways and at different speeds. We also express ourselves in different ways that make us easily understood or at other times seen as an entity of complete bafflement. For example, when my husband and I were first dating, I would say something like,
Me: “What’s the name of that actor with the beard?”
Me: “You know. The guy with those great eyes who has a beard.”
Craig: “I have no idea who you’re talking about.”
And he didn’t. Now, after being married for almost 20 years. This happens.
Me: “Honey, you know the woman we saw at the thing last week?”
Craig: “Yes. I got back to her with an answer. All is good.”
See what familiarity and 20 years of marriage can do when you learn how each other communicates?
It all begins with your mindset. If you are “me, me, me” centered, of course, you are going to become frustrated. In your life, the entire world revolves around you. If you live in “Me-Ville” then you have a tendency to blame others, you have a tendency to be judgmental and there is a good possibility that you play the victim really well. When you explain something it is usually very clear so what’s wrong with people who keep missing your point? Especially your customers. Is this you?
Watch my short training on How to Become an Exceptional Sales Communicator Below
I believe that successful communication is the responsibility of the one doing the communicating. If the person to whom you are communicating does not understand what you are saying, it is not their fault but rather it is your responsibility to discover how to communicate your message so it will be understood and hopefully, remembered.
For example, if you are a salesperson who does not take the time to conduct a focused review of the contract and its terms with your customer, you are setting yourself up for unavoidable customer callbacks and customer dissatisfaction. Customer expectations and performance are directly related to your level of disclosure and detailed (or lack of) review of the contract, deliverables and their expected function, and workflow schedule.
Therefore, when your customer voices frustration that services are taking too long, the billing is too high, or the outcome is not what they expected yet, you believe everything is right on schedule and exactly as you promised, a major disconnect has occurred. Yes, it is true that our customers don’t always listen as they should but it’s our responsibility to check-in with them to see if a disconnect could be looming out there waiting to happen.
When a disconnect happens it is generally due to your failure to accurately and thoroughly communicate to your customer the:
- Sequence of events that will create their deliverables
- Timeline for delivery of deliverables
- Payment for deliverables
- Expectations of deliverable performance
- Involvement and extent of your customer service
- Final check-in with your customer to answer questions and make sure you are both on the same page of understanding
To cut down or eliminate customer dissatisfaction in every way that you have control over, you must first understand the personality type of the customer you are working with and communicate in a way that they can understand.
There are many great articles on the four personality types and how to communicate with people who possess them. Here are a few for your reference.
How to Sell to Everyone: The 4 Personality Types by Xander Beckett
How to Sell to Different Personality Types by Rod Nichols
How to Sell to 4 Different Personality Types Leslie Ye
As a sales professional, other than learning how to approach the four personality types, what else can you do to ensure that you are an exceptional communicator?
Tips to Becoming an Exceptional Sales Communicator
Become a Product and Service Expert
- Know everything about your products and services. Know what they do well and what they’re weaknesses are.
- Roleplay with a colleague
- To become fluid in explaining the features and benefits of your products and services.
- Have them ask questions, as a customer would and learn how best to answer those questions, clearly and concisely.
- Memorize and make organic how to explain the features and benefits of your products and services. This will ensure that you won’t forget anything. Further, when you know it like the back of your hand, you can’t help but feel confident and be perceived as a knowledge expert to your customer.
Get out of “Me-Ville”
- Accept that everyone has their own unique way of assimilating knowledge and that’s ok.
- Let’s take the pressure off. You are not, and never will be, Captain of the World so stop trying to be.
- When you stop thinking about you, your wants and your needs and instead focus your attention on the person with whom you are communicating, something wonderful happens. Others become interested in you and what you have to say. They like you, and are willing to listen to what you have to say. Further, they will do business with you!
- Serve others with a genuine want to do good and you will be rewarded.
Take Responsibility for the Communication You Initiate
- You are the one trying to communicate so it is up to you to figure out how best to help the other person understand what you are trying to say.
- By asking questions you can guide the customer to teach you how best to communicate with them so optimum learning can occur.
- Own this. If the customer doesn’t understand, think of alternative ways to explain what you are trying to communicate. If you become frustrated, it’s because you are not putting yourself in the customer’s shoes. Those heels in the corner may do the trick so be aware of how your customer processes information and try them on for size.
When you take responsibility for all communication you initiate, you will find your customers to be easier to work with. There will be less stress during your business day. Your sales will increase.
Try it and see for yourself. I did and I’ll be darned, it works.
Chiqeeta Jameson – Sales Coach, Speaker and #1 Bestselling Author of Don’t Sell. Let Them Buy, Master the Sales Conversation and Guide Your Customers To A Successful Outcome Every Time.