Communication is one of the greatest skill sets that a person can have. Stop for a minute and think about all of the great leaders that are living now and have lived in the past, throughout the world. One trait that they all share is their exceptional effectiveness in getting their point across. Being able to convey the meaning that you want in such a way that nothing is taken out of context is often easier said than done. Naturally, some of us are much more effective at this than others. That does not mean that these skills cannot be learned, though.
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How would you rate your own verbal communication, using a 1 to 10 scale? 1 is terrible and 10 puts you in the “living legend” category. How about your written communication? Lastly, how about your nonverbal communication cues? Is it fair to say that you can improve somewhere? I ask these questions about this topic because communication is of monumental importance for anything that you are trying to do. Would you believe me if I told you that learning to be a better communicator will earn you more money?
I am willing to bet that a person’s skill in communication is a determining factor in the level of success that they will reach. Good communicators are good sales reps and make good money. The best communicators are the best sales reps and make the best money.
Do you see the correlation?
Being a great verbal communicator starts with being a great listener. This skill allows you to talk to your audience and not at them or, even worse, down to them. Developing strong listening begins with allowing the other person to fully speak their thought without interruption. It also involves completely paying attention to what the other party is saying and not focusing on what you are going to say as soon as they finish. As strange as it may seem, the person that you are talking to can tell if you are actively engaged with what they are saying. When this other person is a potential client or customer this can change the experience for them completely.
I have witnessed the complete failure of a verbal exchange many times when the person talking is either incapable or unwilling to look the person that he or she is talking to in the eye. Is it really that uncomfortable to make eye contact? If you can’t do this, people will not trust you as much as they could, which will also hurt your selling potential. Practice by looking into a mirror if you need to. This is a big deal and it will hold you back if you allow it to. Once you get the listening and eye contact thing down, then you just need to become a real wordsmith to carefully craft your sentences to articulate what you want to say. Like anything else, it takes practice to perfect. Even if you make a marginal improvement, it still counts as progress, right?
Written communication is a different animal altogether. Words can be taken out of context very easily, so you must choose them carefully. You must make it a point to reread and edit your work over and over to ensure that your intended tone and message comes through as intended. I personally enjoy both types of communication very much, but it is easier for things to become “lost in translation” in writing versus the spoken word. The major advantage that you have with spoken communication is the body language that goes with it. This is assuming that the conversation is taking place in person. If you are talking over Skype or on a phone, you will have to rely on voice inflection.
Here is the point in all of this.
Improving any or all of your communication skills will lead to better experiences with other people, including clients or potential customers. Great communication will improve all of your relationships, increase your confidence, and change the way other people respond to you. Trust me when I say that the best communicators in a group get the attention of the room and these are the people who gain followers, without having to ask for them.[Tweet “Great communication will improve all of your relationships, increase your confidence, and change the way other people respond to you. “]
There are a number of ways to increase your sales and this is an easy and free one. All you need to do is put in the work and the rest will come to you in time. What are your thoughts on this topic? Let’s hear them in the comments.
In the book “How to Say Anything to Anyone: A Guide to Building Business Relationships That Really Work” Shari Harley talks about how to take charge of your career by eliminating communication barriers and taking charge of your business relationships. Make your work environment less tense and more productive by improving communication skills. Set relationship expectations, work with people how they like to work, and give positive feedback and constructive feedback.