As a sales pro, are you aware how you speak to people can affect the way they react to you? Remember the movie “Harry Potter” in the scene when Harry realized he could speak an ancient “Slitheren” language, which allowed him to communicate with snakes? He was astonished and did not understand how he could do this, but he later learned to use this gift in productive ways.
So too, you may often go into your sales language without even realizing it, because it comes naturally to you. Old timers used to call this being “slick”, which while it is considered a derogatory term by today’s sales standards, it still gives people an odd feeling when they encounter a sales person who communicates this way. Think “used car salesman” and you get the general idea.
In order to avoid the pitfalls of speaking in sales tongue, it’s important to understand and look for the often subtle clues in others to tone it down some.
- Tuning out. Ever talk to someone and they begin to get that glassy-eyed look as if they would rather be listening to anything other than you? This is what’s called “tuning out” and it commonly occurs when someone loses interest. Instead of trying to talk a lot to create interest, try taking the time to ask some open ended questions to find out what the other person is interested in, then focusing on those interests to keep them tuned in.
- Stepping away. Physical space is very important to people, especially when you invade it. If you start to notice someone inching away from you, it’s a clear indication that you are making him or her feel uncomfortable. As soon as you notice this, you should step back about 6 inches, which should calm the person enough to get their attention again.
- Losing eye contact. People very often have short attention spans, especially when everyone is distracted by the media that streams into our brains 24/7 today. It’s not uncommon for others to avoid eye contact when they lose interest. Glancing at a watch, a clock or mobile device can signal this this is just not a good time. If this happens, ask the person if you may schedule a follow-up with them instead of trying to speak to an unwilling participant.
- Facial expressions. Ever talk to someone, and then begin to notice an uncomfortable, almost pained look on their face? Or worse yet, the person begins to get red in the face. These are sure signs that they do not want to hear what you have to say, so take heed and back off. Instead, opt to speak with people who smile back and are receptive to you when you talk.
- Defensiveness. One of the worse things that can happen when trying to deliver a sales pitch is getting an angry or defensive comeback. It’s akin to being a comedian on a stage while the audience boos. If you do encounter someone like this, redirect the conversation back to the other person by asking a good question to find a common ground and try to have a sense of humor.
Want to improve your sales techniques to get a more positive response from others? Consider taking an upcoming sales course from the best communications training provider in the world – Dale Carnegie.