How Well You Do It Determines Team & Customer Engagement
Most likely you may have heard the expression “it is not what you say but how you say it.” This expression happens to have a much more profound impact than we casually give credit to when the saying rolls off our tongue. The expression has been around for quite a while and we tend to use it often but do we really know what the expression means and how do we filter our words to instill a greater impact on the listener? Good, clear communications is the foundation of any well-run organization. With this in mind, I want to introduce you to a little narrative I stumbled upon below. Please pay close attention to the words and assimilate the reasoning of these words as you read it and see if your communications with others is on point or not. Stick with it because there is a little spin at the end.
“Speech carries the message from your mind to that of the man you’re talking to. If your speech loses part of the message your brain would like to send – it is faulty in its transmission – if it delivers it in such a weak form that it does not impress itself upon the other man’s mind – then – it is ineffective.”
“If your speech carries the right words – carries them truly and forcefully – then it’s fully effective.”
“Your personal power can mainly be translated to others through words – speech.” “By possessing the knack of effective speech – by being able to transfer to others, without loss, the complete creation of your brain – you make your ideas the other man’s ideas – lead him to accept your judgments.”
“You simply must be able to make clear to the people with whom you talk that which is clear in your own mind. It is the way the prospect feels about your product or proposition that makes him buy it. It is up to you to make him feel the way you want him to feel. It is what you say and how you say it – far more than anything else – that creates the feeling – the ideas in the prospect’s mind.”
“Now, if effective speech were only a ‘gift’ – there would be no hope for those who think they cannot talk – and no need for the text. But it is not just a gift – this has been proved over and over – it can be acquired by anyone through properly directed study and practice. Every man can learn to express himself – perhaps not so fluently or volubly as the ‘born talker’ who often becomes a bore but effectively enough so that he can influence others; so that, as a salesman, he can accomplish the thing that he goes out after.”
“Leaders have to be clear and deliver their message in a language their team members can easily interpret.”
“A man cannot sell whose words do not properly convey his ideas to the mind of his prospect. The beginning of all effective expression is the ideas – words are but symbols, and voice the medium through which these symbols recreate the speaker’s idea in the mind of the listener. Now the symbol – words – is so closely related to the mental process it represents, that an idea does not take definite shape even in a man’s mind until he finds the words to express it. Therefore, while words and ideas are never far separated, a man must know words in order to know what he thinks – in order to express his ideas to himself. And he must clearly know what he himself thinks before he can influence others to think as he does.”
“With the right words you express your idea, and by forceful, interesting presentation or delivery you make your listener receive your thoughts – paint your ‘picture’ on the canvas of his mind. What good does it do you to know that you have the best thing of its kind to offer and yet be unable through the medium of words to make your listener feel the same way about it?”
“The answer is obvious. And it is only by the effective use of words and phrases that your ideas, your convictions about your goods are transmitted to the mind of your prospect.”
“Millions of men who spend hours a day in talking have no knowledge of how to talk clearly and forcibly. They wonder why subordinates confuse their meaning or get tired of listening to their instructions. They wonder why their directions are not carried out; why their letters are not read; why people who listen to them in meetings don’t pay attention, or at least don’t listen eagerly with the kind of attention that absorbs everything directed at it.”
“Many salesmen, likewise, don’t understand why many prospects upon whom they call show no interest in their product and are not convinced by their arguments. The unit of all expression is the word. Whenever you talk or write, choose the simplest, plainest, most easily understood word that you can think of. These words go together in phrases and sentences. See that your phrases and sentences are simple and short and that it is easy to get their meaning.”
“The man who talks best talks so simply and plainly, so clearly, that the listener isn’t conscious of his language at all, but has his whole mind fixed upon the ideas expressed by the language. Just as when you look in at the window of a great department store, you aren’t conscious at all of the glass between you and the display, but only of the objects that are shown behind the glass. If that glass had been made a little dim, if you had to strain and work to see through it, you never would have bothered to look at the object shown behind it. Therefore, keep matters as clear as possible and your prospect will be able to understand and see what it is that you wish for him to understand.”
The aforementioned guiding communication instructions came from a book entitled “Winning With Words” which is only one of a set of 12 books I acquired some time ago entitled “Modern Salesmanship Principles and Practice.” The intriguing element about these books is the fact that they were written in 1922 by La Salle University for the automobile salesman. Although the book’s word structure is a little funky the message is rock solid; it is not what you say but how you say it.
These instructions have withstood the test of time. Even newer and more contemporary communications techniques firmly hinge upon these basic concepts because these principles remain steadfastly important. As a leader, make sure you are always enriching your team members by utilizing these communications with their prospects and customers including but not limited to email, chat, telephone and floor up traffic. As a manager, this is very critical to your leadership. Leaders have to be clear and deliver their message in a language their team members can easily interpret. If you feel there is room for improvement in this area and could use a couple of ideas send me an email and I will get them out to you.
KEY POINT: Always be investigating new educational opportunities for your personal growth as well as your team’s growth or else you and your team may become stale and/or complacent.
Author: Chuck Barker
CHUCK BARKER is President & Founder of Impact Marketing & Consulting Group, located in Virginia. He has assisted Dealers & Corporations across the country in Sales & Service Development training programs, Management Leadership Workshops and Business Improvement/Analysis Consulting. He is a pioneer in BDC, CRM, Best Processes and Team Member Development since the early ‘90’s. Chuck has held Automobile, Corporate and International Executive positions for over 27 years. Chuck has been a monthly author/contributor for Dealer Magazine for over 11 years. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.