Conscious Communication: bringing communication
up from "auto-pilot" and reactive, to thoughtful, responsive, and above
in the background while you file, exercise, ride to work, etc.
Quick Communication Tip
Increasing Your Close Ratio
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
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
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"
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
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
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
Want to learn more about how your communication can hold you back or
catapult you forward? Come visit the
or better yet,
contact me and see how we can design a program to fit your needs and desired outcomes.
- the podcast series
KG Stiles: "Conversations that Enlighten and Heal"
Ian Blei on Kind Ambition and the
Personal Life Media -
"Coaching the Life Coach:"
Communication Excellence (full interview)
for Evolutionary Radio w/ J. McClain
2nd Edition now available
visit the Blog.
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