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Increasing Your Close Ratio

Conscious Communication: bringing communication up from "auto-pilot" and reactive, to thoughtful, responsive, and above all, intentional.


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Increasing Your Close Ratio
(click for podcast version)


How often have you heard that sales is a “numbers game?”   We’re told that we have to go through lots of prospects to find the ones we can sell to.

Our experience often supports this belief.  It seems that there are certain people who we “get” and vice versa.  We can sell to them as easily as we can sell to ourselves, because we get excited about the same things, and our attention seems to be focused on the same issues or beliefs.

Unfortunately, this dynamic locks us into working with a much smaller proportion of possible prospects.  We get forced into that numbers game, looking for the 10-15% of the crowd who we can sell to.

What about all the others?  Is it true that 85-90% of the crowd  aren’t prospects because you don’t understand what makes them tick?  What if you did?  Wouldn’t that vastly improve your close ratio?  So how do you figure them out?

People give us verbal cues telling a great deal about themselves, if we’re paying attention.  Once we hear these cues, we can use that information to help us build rapport, and improve understanding.

In my seminars and workshops we cover quite a few of these cues, as well as what to do with that information, and this can be an expansive subject.  For right now, here are a couple tools you can start using immediately to help you connect with more different types of people more easily.  After all, isn’t increasing your close ratio better than slogging through the numbers?

Tempo - Moving At the Speed of Talking
The speed or tempo in which we speak offers useful information about our inner workings.  You’ve probably noticed how someone with a different tempo from you can make a dramatic difference in your rapport with them.  It’s rare for a fast-tempo person to have the patience to listen to a slower person, without trying to hurry them along.  It’s just as likely that a slow-tempo person will react to a fast-tempo person as being inauthentic and “sales-y.”  Beyond the reaction is useful information.

Fast-tempo people tend to be more visual and more “Big-Picture” oriented.  You can tailor your approach accordingly.  Slower tempos usually indicate more interest in details, skepticism, and more auditory or kinesthetic leanings.

There are a few exceptions who have a slow-tempo inside, and may have fast-tempos outside, so we still need to check in with people early and often, so we can have the confidence that we "get" them before moving forward with them.  They usually show themselves through doubting, testing, being contrary, and watching your reactions.  Sound familiar?  Pay attention, and you’ll know them when you encounter them.

Phrasing: Brain, Gut, and Heart-speak
Listen to the actual words people choose when they speak.  Do they start with “I think, I feel, or I know?”  (Often "I know" is silent, and they just make a declarative statement.)  We all mix it up a little, but still lean toward using of one of these over the others.  This suggests a person’s general way of processing and organizing, which means you actually have important information about them.

For example, when a person uses “I feel” more than the other phrases, it’s likely that they’re in what’s called the Heart Triad, which means that they are more likely motivated by aspiring toward an ideal and their social standing, than avoiding pain.

Likewise, “I know” indicates an intuitive type, also aspiring toward an ideal, but without the concern for social fit.

When they use “I think” more often, it’s likely that they’re more motivated to avoid pain, fear or anxiety.  You need to appeal to that to make a connection.

Your approach has to be quite different for these different types of people, because it has to fit them.  One size doesn't fit all:

  • Mike, who talks fast and thinks about all kinds of things all the time wants you to give him the headlines-only.

  • David, who talks slower and feels things very deeply would think that approach to be inauthentic, so you’d need to slow down.

  • Mary, with a medium tempo, also feels things, so she wants the straight story, without B.S.

  • Joanne, a research scientist with slow, deliberate speech would find the headlines-only approach to be devoid of substance.  With her, you better have empirical data, and present it at her tempo.

By listening carefully to people, you can hear between the lines, and get an idea of what makes them tick.  This gives you a competitive edge on developing rapport and relationship, which is of course what drives your business.



Quick Communication Tip


Connection is King

There are no sales techniques or tricks that will work to create the relationship you need to work with people.  You've probably heard that horses can sense fear?  We've actually got a few I.Q. points on horses, and can sense a lot more than fear.  We can sense inauthenticity a mile away.  Working with (or living with) others requires our ability to connect with them.  We need to understand what makes them tick, so we can phrase things in a way that they can grasp, and present things in a way that they will listen to.

Remember, most interactions are about some form of negotiation or information gathering.  The more information you have about the other person, the better you’re able to work with them, sell to them, negotiate with them, and of course, to understand them.  If you aim for connection, you are more likely to succeed in anything that involves another person.

Want to learn more about how your communication can hold you back or catapult you forward?  Come visit the web site, or better yet, contact me and see how we can design a program to fit your needs and desired outcomes.


Resource Links:

Conscious Communication - the podcast series

KG Stiles: "Conversations that Enlighten and Heal"
Ian Blei on Kind Ambition and the
Integram (TM)

Personal Life Media - "Coaching the Life Coach:"
Communication Excellence (Podcast Snippets)
Communication Excellence (full interview)

Interview Podcast for Evolutionary Radio w/ J. McClain

Kind Ambition -
2nd Edition now available

Got Blog? c
ome visit the Blog.

Character Driven - Ever want to create characters that were so believable, that people forgot they were characters?



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