Tag Archives: business communication

Sixty Second Success Tip: Better Non-Verbal Communication

Did you know that over half of the criteria on which others interpret our communication is based on the non-verbal component of the way we interact?

Here’s one of our “Sixty Second Success Tips” that provides additional perspective and suggestions for better non-verbal communication:

Questions are Often the Answer

questionmarkwordsPeople have a tendency to think about good communication in terms of speaking, but when it comes to sales, business development or sales management, questions are often the key to success.

Consider that in most conversations [interviews, debates, sales calls, performance reviews…] the person asking the questions is the one who controls the conversation.

In addition, if we ask better questions we will get better answers; and because of these answers we will be equipped with better information, which will enable us to make better suggestions, craft more compelling value propositions, or make more interesting presentations.

Similar perspective has been made by Jack Falvey, founder of makingthenumbers.com, who said, “Asking the best question has always been more important than making the best presentations.”

Or as stated by Paul Sloane, founder of Destination Innovation, “Asking questions is the single most important habit for innovative thinkers.”

Be Prepared With a New Focus
If this perspective resonates with you, or if you’d like to put it to the test, make this simple adjustment when preparing for your next sales call, meeting, important telephone conversation, or presentation:

  • Put an equal amount of effort into planning what you will “say” as well as what you will “ask.”

In other words, put the same amount of focus on your questions as you put on your speaking points.


Engaging the Imagination of Others

In music, the pauses matter just as much as the sound. As many visual artists will agree, white space in art is just as important as the drawing. For example, the white “circles” we see in the image below don’t really exist… but they certainly command our attention!

grid-circlesYet in business, we have a tendency to rush… to fill any empty space with noise — a new offer, more features, another conference call, another statement.

Maybe, if we instead find ways to respect the “white space” or the “quiet” when communicating with others, we could allow them to fill the void, adding their own interpretation and impact. Maybe, if we instead find a way to talk a little bit less and listen a little bit more, we could learn more about the issues at hand or about other people’s perspectives, needs, priorities, and so forth.

Maybe limiting information engages the imagination of others?


Telephone Opportunities?

Whether they are knocking at our doors or calling on the phone, every inquiry or customer call is an opportunity.

The question is, will we seize the opportunity and surpass their expectations? Or will we fall short of those expectations and, in so doing, damage our relationship or brand value?

Consider that it’s often the little things that make a big difference in perception… little things such as how we greet inbound callers. Have we given sufficient thought to the “implied” message we’d like to send to each and every inbound caller each time we answer the phone? Possibly something along the lines of, “Gee, I’m really glad you called! I’m happy to help…! Really!”

How about the tone and content of our voicemail greeting (i.e., what callers hear when they reach our voice mail)? How long has it been since we’ve listened to it?  A recent local study uncovered a surprising number of “professional” voice mail greetings that apologized for being out of the office on specified dates… unfortunately the dates were all well in the past!

A little thought and planning can go a long way toward engaging every in-bound caller, and might also result in driving a positive word-of-mouth buzz… or even more revenue!