What’s driving your prospect’s, customer’s or client’s decisions?
While there are lots of influencers, there are three crucial areas:
1. what they see
2. what you say, and
3. how you say it
Or your mastery of the three Vs: Visual. Vocal. Verbal.
It’s everything your decision-maker sees. How you’re dressed. Are your products working properly and free of dust? Does your website or promotional literature convey a positive image? Does your car have that showroom look or is it ready for the junkyard? Does your company “look good”? When you meet somebody, do you confidently and professionally greet them or appear uninterested by their presence?
It’s not what you say, but how you say it. It’s your vocal quality, intonation and inflection.
Let’s try this simple exercise. First, exclaim in a positive, upbeat tone, “Welcome, it’s great to see you today. How can we help you?”
Now, repeat the exact same words, but in a negative, demeaning and confrontational tone, “Welcome, it’s great to see you today—how can we help you?”
Hear the difference? And the only thing changed, was the tone or attitude of your voice.
It’s the words you use to convey your message. Does your industry or company have a unique language or jargon? Of course. Yet are all customers going to understand this language? Probably not. They might need to be educated.
Therefore, you should communicate, market, sell, negotiate and serve at the customer’s level of understanding.
While conducting a business-growth workshop for a large Chicago law firm, one of the attorneys asked me, “Jeff, all this information about easy-to-understand language is fine and good, but what if I want impress my clients with my technical expertise?”
While I wanted to “shake him” for his pomposity and arrogance, I politely replied, “Ask yourself this question: Which is more important, impressing your clients or having them understand you?”
DYNAMIC? OR DINOSAUR?
If you purchased a computer from a high-tech manufacturer, you’d expect it to be innovative, latest/greatest and leading-edge, wouldn’t you? Of course!
And for that reason, I had a client, (a manufacturer of software to the healthcare industry) remove the typewriters from their office. A typewriter conveyed the wrong visual and perceptual image for this client.
Their office should say dynamic, not dinosaur!
The power of visual and vocal persuasion are significant. However, they’re only elements of the business-development process.
While a strong visual or vocal incentive may be used to lure a customer in the initial or “Open” stage of business development, it must be always accompanied by a sincere desire to help your customer or decision-maker.
Just as a Broadway opening hopes to set the stage for a long and profitable theater run, your opening—with its visual and vocal impact—should also start a long and profitable relationship.
(The preceding is an excerpt from the new 5th edition of Jeff’s bestselling book, Peak Your Profits. Available on Amazon and at your favorite bookstore.)