Watch Your Mouth … and Hands – Short Attention Span Sales Tip
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I was just on the phone with a client from Kentucky and he commented on my Boston accent or rather, my lack of having one. I am told that there are a few words where you can tell that I’m from Massachusetts but no, you will not hear me say things like “cah” or “wicked.”Just quickly, there are two reasons for that:
- First, I spent my early years out in western Massachusetts and did not move to the Boston area until I was 10.
- Second, I am cognizant of how I speak because I think it might get on people’s nerves if I started dropping my r’s.
But it got me thinking about, what I think I will call, “the value of talking good.” When I was four or five years old, I had a bad stutter. Ironic, then, that I would grow to be in a job that included a lot of public speaking. Learning to enunciate my words and slow my brain down allowed my tongue to catch up. Today, I try to be acutely aware of not just the words that I choose but also the slang and the intonation and the pace and the volume and of course, those naughty words that slip out.
There was an interesting article in the New York Times last week about how meteorologists need to be careful with their use of superlatives when describing storms. They are actually creating guidelines so that words like, “catastrophic” are reserved for truly violent weather and not just thrown out there to be dramatic.
This is all to say that you need to be careful and prepared as a salesperson, fully understanding that you are being judged in part by your speech, vocabulary, and delivery. I know I wince a little every time I hear my, “Thank you” replied to with, “No problem.”
Written communication is a whole other story. The written word is far more powerful than the spoken word. Here, you need to follow one simple rule: Never write something that you wouldn’t want someone else to see.
Like it or not, we as salespeople live and die by our communication skills. I just wonder how many of you realized that grammatical error I made in the second paragraph and how many skipped over it without even noticing.
The video version of this sales tip goes into more detail. Click here to watch:
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