What if you could shorten your conversations from 60 minutes to 20 minutes and not only get your message across, but communicate more effectively?
Are you simply saying too much and making it harder than it should be?
I was having a chat with my lovely girlfriend last week and she was sharing with me something she had heard on the radio about communication. It was an interview with some expert and he was discussing the purpose of language.
(click here to listen to this post or the play button below)
What is language for?
The primary purpose of language is to communicate. But for some reason, we like to complicate that.
He went on to say that first year university students actually communicate their messages more effectively than fourth year students. I totally believe that! Have you ever had a chat with a fourth year student? Yikes!
It is all because of this need we have to try and sound smart. You may think that the more complex you make your language, the more intelligent you look. Well the opposite is true.[Tweet “The primary purpose of language is to communicate. But for some reason, we like to complicate that.”]
A 2005 Princeton Study hilariously titled Consequences of Erudite Vernacular Utilized Irrespective of Necessity: Problems with Using Long Words Needlessly talks about how simpler language increases fluency. The more someone understands what you say, the higher probability they will like you…
Fluency leads to higher judgments of truth, confidence, frequency, fame, and even liking. – Daniel Oppenheimer
How can you communicate your sales message better?
I have been testing this idea with a few clients this week during our sales training and coaching calls. I asked them to review their emails and even record their calls for the week. Then to look and listen for the words that don’t really need to be there.
One rep told me that she uses the word protocol when describing her process to clients. When she then said it out loud, she laughed and said, “Now that I just heard it out loud, it sounds weird. Nobody says protocol. And I’ve been saying it to everyone!”
Now on the flip side of this, others have voiced concern over sounding less professional. They are worried that by not using strong or interesting words, they may dilute their intellect. Possibly, but here’s what I asked them to think:Do you communicate a complex idea in a simple way or do you try and mask a mediocre idea with complex language? Think about it…
I see this happen all the time. And this is why sales calls can go on for way too long!
Keep your language exciting, emotional, and as simple as possible. You will be surprised how much more effectively you get your point across.
And…at the same time, there are some really interesting words out there that wonderfully get an idea across. Save those for when you need them. When you bust them out, they will have more impact.
Use language to your advantage and you will increase your chances of winning more deals.
Wouldn’t meetings be so much more fun if people just said things in a simpler way? I have sat through countless hours of miscommunication over the years. Stop the madness.
I was working with my SEO guy this week, Mike, and he is awesome. Check him out here. We were talking about his sales messages and often it is a lot of jargon. When it was all boiled down, his message is simply, “I help your website go fast and do cool things to make sure more of the right people find you and give you money.”
The big secret: Can you communicate to a 13 year old?
This is where it got fun this week. The idea morphed into this test of communication. Try and say your business stuff to a kid and ask if it makes sense.
I also sat down with a new friend, Rebecca, this week who has run many successful businesses (including a wicked photography company B-K Studios) and is a superstar entrepreneur. She has a 13 year old daughter who is now on her third business! How cool is that?
Anyways, she was saying that she and a business partner sat down with her daughter and they were talking about “reverse engineering” something. She looked confused and asked what that meant. They said, “Your goal is to get here, you are starting here, and we just need to figure out all the stuff to do in the middle.”
The girl went, “Oh that makes sense!”
Then I had a really fun idea. What if I did a sales call to this 13 year old CEO?
Could I effectively communicate my offer in a way that a 13 year old business owner would be engaged, understand it, and be compelled to take action?
That both made me really excited and scared at the same time! It got me really thinking…
That was yesterday. We are now talking about possibly doing a video interview and a panel of kids to talk business. Maybe a workshop or something. All fun stuff!
We went deeper into the psychology of all this as well but I think I’ll save that for another post. For now I want to simply challenge you to try this out for the week. See if you can simplify and have fun making your language easy.
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