Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Monitor Your Messages

Communication is the key to success in sales. Whether it is in person, over the phone, or via email, your clients are buying because they have communicated a need to you, and you have communicated a solution to them.

If communication has stalled between you and your prospect, it could be due to incongruence in the messages your words and body language are sending. Change management expert Kevin Dwyer suggests you watch out for the following communication sin - most people don't realize they're committing it.


When a person speaks, the audience is attempting to assess whether we are sincere or not about what we say, and they take into account the following:
  • The words we use - The content and knowledge of our topic, counts for 7 percent of their perception
  • How we speak - Including our tone, pitch and inflection, counts for 35 percent of their perception
  • Our visual presence - Our body language counts for 55 percent of their perception
Some examples of incongruence between words, tone and body which scuttles our message are:
  • Talking about open communication and frowning at difficult questions (body language versus words).
  • Reading from a speech in a monotone voice about how excited we are about the future (body language and tone and pace of voice versus words).
  • Saying, "I take full accountability" for an error without expressing what the consequences of the accountability entail (words versus words).
The next time you're communicating with a prospect, try to monitor the messages you're sending. Do your words and body language match up? Do the words in your sentences support each other? Do this, and you'll get the message across - and get the sale!

Kevin Dwyer is President of Change Factory, a change management company that helps businesses get better outcomes by managing a change in their people's behavior. Learn more at

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is just common sense, nothing more or less. Great info for beginners, but seaoned sales pros are always looking to how to better our selves into even better salesman

May 18, 2008 8:22 PM  
Blogger Editor: Kelly McLean said...

I agree bettering yourself is important - but nothing wrong with a quick refresher on the basics, right?

May 19, 2008 6:47 AM  

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