The words you use, and even the ones you don’t, significantly impact how people perceive you. Turns out, you may be communicating poorly without knowing it.
Here are four offenders and how to avoid them:
Don’t reveal that you are too busy, even if you are. Work can get crazy. But complaining to customers about how busy you are can be mistaken for a cue that you don’t have time for them or their referrals! In fact, they may help by leaving you alone.
When clients ask how you’re doing, have a positive script that won’t turn them away, such as: “Business is very good! We have a lot of exciting projects underway, and we’re always looking for new, high caliber clients like you/the ones you’ve been referring.”
Listen first, sell second. You may have the perfect product and all the right answers, but remember your customers want to be heard before they want to be sold.
People get deep satisfaction from unloading their issues, especially to someone whom they expect will listen. Not only that, but letting your customers “get it all out” can often reveal further business opportunities.
Remember, they can hear you slouch. Everyone knows body language is critical in presentations and meetings. What about over the telephone? When you slouch or frown on the phone, you telegraph that energy and people can “hear” it.
That’s why you should always answer the phone with a smile—you will exude warmth and confidence in your voice, which customers can detect immediately. Sitting up straight helps, too. When you sit up straight and smile you change your demeanor—studies show it can even change your mood!
Focus on the conversation. When people take time to call you and you accept the call, then by all means give them the attention they deserve! Just like slouching or smiling, people can also hear when you are distracted; avoid web browsing, checking your phone, or writing an email during phone conversations. Being fully engaged shows that you respect their time and business.