In order for someone to improve his skills as a salesperson, he needs to know what to improve.
There are 3 different ways we communicate with people:
In this article, we will go through each one of these.
Table of Contents
- Verbal communication
- Nonverbal communication
- Paraverbal communication
- Putting it all into Practice
All set? Let’s Go.
What is verbal communication?
Verbal Communication is what you say: the contents of your message. People that are skilled as speakers are direct, use a clear message and without crutch words (“mmm” sounds and repeated words as a pause between other sentences).
People that I found that are skilled in Verbal Communication always pause a bit when you ask them something and then answer direct to the point. Their sentences are well structured, and they use the minimum amount of words to phrase their answers when answering your question.
Try to watch people talking on YouTube and notice when they sometimes get out of breath while presenting something. These are usually intelligent people that studied a lot about a topic, but are failing in verbal communication because they are trying to say too much in one answer. They are talking too fast, putting in too much text, and not pausing correctly to breathe.
On the other hand, you see other people that their speech always seems to be flawless and they seem to get their points across effectively and effortlessly.
The best examples of flawless communication that I have seen are Edmund Kemper, the serial killer, and Barack Obama the former US president.
Watch their interviews and you will see what I mean. They don’t hesitate, they don’t use crutch words or sounds, and their sentences are structured in a way that their content is getting across effectively. They sound confident, clear, and without tension when presenting.
Their whole verbal communication sounds effortless.
What is nonverbal communication?
Nonverbal communication is what your body and micro-expressions are displaying. Our brains are watching out for signs of nonverbal communication, as this helps you get a better understanding of the person that is in front of you. Your brain is scanning the person that is telling you something, for signs of deception or truthfulness.
People can be telling you something that seems to have nothing too it, but then they show signs of being nervous, so you interpret the whole situation in a way that gets you suspicious and you decide to get away from it.
On the other hand, you might be in a situation where say the same thing, but they sound confident, peaceful and you get a different understanding of the whole situation and decide to go along with it.
There is a lot that goes into this, and you can check more about this in this article
For now, I just want you to understand that you might be saying the exact same speech but the way you are using your body language, will have an enormous impact on what you are saying.
What is paraverbal communication?
Paraverbal communication is how we say it. It is a bit like the vehicle that is carrying your spoken word: tonality, pauses between sentences or words, inflections (saying words going up or going down).
Paraverbal communication is divided in:
7. length of speech
Think of a great radio presenter or a great actor presenting a communication on the phone and someone that is untrained and sounds nervous.
There is a clear distinction between both right? It’s how they are saying the speech. One remarkable example to me, is Morgan Freeman presenting William Ernest Henley’s poem: Invictus
It’s not what he is saying, it’s how he is saying it.
Putting it all together
Now that you know the 3 main forms of communication, how do you improve each one of these? Well, it’s like anything in life: practice.
I started out as a door-to-door salesperson, and since now due to the covid thing we are “stationed” at home, I doubled down on my telephonic skills.
What I do every day is to do tongue twisters and practice a couple of poems and sales scripts.
The other thing I do that has been proven effective for me is to have a small mirror in from of time so that when I am talking to people on the phone I can see my facial expression at all times an be in control of the situation.
Sometimes people ask you stuff that your brain explores in over-justifications, and you shouldn’t as these sometimes get you out of control of tonality and overall demeanor.
In order to minimize this, I make sure I keep looking at myself in front of this little table-top mirror, so I can be more in control of the situation.
In time, you will get better, your brain will have more data to use as counter-measures when communicating with people.
In this article, we went through the 3 main forms of communication: verbal, nonverbal and paraverbal.
Becoming aware of how you are communicating is a major step in becoming better as a salesperson. People perceive you the way you communicate, so the better you control the process the higher the chance of getting what you want out of the encounters.
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