High Road Always Best Route in Business CommunicationsJuly 11, 2011 | Posted by mlynn in Sales Training
Does your day-to-day communication with customers support the competent, professional image you desire, and the image necessary to improve sales? From dress, to protocol, to meeting etiquette, the business environment has become much less formal in recent years – with many corresponding benefits. However, one unfortunate casualty has been the quality and class of our verbal communication. Relaxed is one thing. Crude vulgarity is quite another.
Do a quick communications self-audit. Have profanity (even “mild” profanity) and pop/slang terminology crept into your day-to-day business dialog? It saddens me to see a number of words and phrases – extremely vulgar in their origins – migrate to the mainstream vocabulary. Don’t succumb. Although these terms may be widely regarded as the norm, they are at best unprofessional; at worst, they can be downright offensive.
Was traffic on the way to your appointment a nightmare? Then say, “traffic was a nightmare,” not “traffic was really s&!!?# this morning,” or “traffic was a real b@!#& today…” Better yet, don’t complain about the traffic at all. Stay positive. For better sales performance, emphasize your enthusiasm for the privilege of spending time with your customer and sharing the benefits your organization has to offer.
Words don’t have to be profane to undermine your customer relationships. Language that is simply too familiar or too comfortable contradicts your professional image. Whether a prospect you are meeting for the first time or a customer you’ve worked with for 20 years, make sure your words reflect the sales professional–client relationship, and convey the respect due to any customer. In person or in writing, “Hey” isn’t an appropriate salutation. Nicknames are not a good idea. Jokes are a disaster waiting to happen.
Here’s the good news: this epidemic of coarse communication in business presents an immediate opportunity. Use professional and articulate language to differentiate yourself and the company you represent. Every word that comes out of your mouth should support the reputation you are working toward. In many ways, your personal conduct serves as the foundation upon which effective selling skills or customer service skills are built.
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