Good communication is vital in any profession – but it’s especially critical in sales. You need to be able to listen to what your prospect needs, address their concerns, and convince them your solution is the better answer to their problem. There’s no chance to make a sale if you can’t get a prospect to make or keep contact with you. And trust between client and prospect starts with honesty and transparency. Hence, clear communication in sales is key to your success.
So, what does effective sales communication look like? Read today’s blog post to learn more about translating your thoughts and actions clearly to prospects, customers, and your own team members.
Why is Clear Communication in Sales Important?
A lot of focus in sales training can be on negotiation tactics, because sales is so often seen as a negotiation. But much of your success in sales depends on gathering and providing information in a way that makes your prospect truly want to do business with you.
You can offer the best product or service in the market – or in the world. Yet you might not make a single sale if you can’t get a prospect to talk to you and listen to your pitch.
Communication is about more than just being able to speak eloquently and convincingly. A major part of good communication is listening to the other person. Doing so allows for a real dialogue to find out what they need, which will help you offer something they value.
Top Sales Communication Skills
What are the top skills for clear communications in sales? Here are a few of the most important ones to focus your energy on.
With the overwhelming amount of marketing we all face daily, most people are increasingly skeptical of big promises and vague language. You need to get specific to win over prospects.
This means having hard data to show how your product or service will work for them. Or you could provide specific examples and anecdotes of how your product or service will solve a problem or help them succeed.
Ask meaningful “discovery” questions
Good communication is as much about listening as it is about talking.
If you’re just launching into a sales pitch after a few pleasantries, you’re missing a big opportunity to connect with your prospect. Don’t go in with assumptions – instead, approach conversations with a sense of genuine curiosity.
When preparing for an initial or very early stage meeting, create a list of discovery questions intended to uncover problems and needs; and also what a good solution might look like.
- What problems are they trying to solve, and what’s holding them back from a solution?
- How are they currently handling these problems today?
- What does this company truly need, and how have they imagined getting help?
If you don’t know something, it is ok to admit it and then promise to find the answer (and respond with the answer promptly!).
Sales is about also building trust from honest communication. And you can’t do this if you’re holding back information or tweaking the truth to fit what you think a prospect wants to hear.
Great salespeople know that selling isn’t about convincing a prospect that your solution is the greatest thing since sliced bread. It’s about active listening – not just waiting for your turn to speak. You can’t “actively listen” if you’re concentrating on your next question or statement.
Active listening means:
- feeding back the prospect’s word to them
- confirming you heard them correctly
- asking follow-up questions to make sure you understand what they’re telling you
Make the prospect feel heard by paying attention, and this will make them ready to listen too.
Interpret body language
We communicate with more than just our words – our bodies often tell a subtle story about how we feel in a situation.
Being able to read the body language of your prospects will give you deeper insight into what’s going on in a conversation. That’s why a video conference may be preferable to a phone call in the current pandemic times when face-to-face meetings are few and far between.
Are they leaning in or away, sitting up alert or slouching, making eye contact or looking away?
Furthermore, your own body language is also telling your prospects plenty. Thus being aware of how you come across is a high-level emotional skill.
How to Improve Communication in Sales
Are you looking at the list above and feeling like you, or someone on your sales team, or even your sales organization as a whole, has some work to do?
There is no need to despair, as it’s not too late! Fixing problems with clearer communication on your sales team is possible, with the right plan.
Enable Effective Communication
If you find that multiple sales reps on your team are struggling to communicate to prospects effectively, the fault probably doesn’t lie exclusively with them. Good sales leadership means giving your team the tools they need to succeed.
For example, if your sales reps have trouble articulating the specific benefits of your product, look into which training materials you’ve provided them with to get them on the right level. Are they missing critical information that could help them during the sales process?
Or if your reps don’t seem to be able to effectively put themselves into the shoes of your customers, take a look at what’s behind that problem. Maybe they need a clearer set of Buyer Personas to study.
If they’re not articulating the value of your solution every time, a clear and detailed Sales Playbook could help. As we have mentioned before, a sales playbook helps teams get a deeper understanding of the big picture for your organization.
Enabling effective communication starts with giving your reps the information they need, so they’ll in turn relay it properly to their prospects.
A Sales Coach Helps Guide Your Team on Clear Communication in Sales
Gaps in communication skills are common, even among accomplished salespeople. But if you feel like your skills need some fine-tuning so you can take your success to new heights, sales coaching is a good solution.
You can engage an experienced coach for you, for your leadership, or for your sales team to work on any areas that need improvement in your sales communication skills.
Often, having an outsider gauge where you excel and where you’re falling short is just what you need to improve. A good sales coach can also identify ways to improve your communication in sales.
Finding a Trusted Sales Coach
Are you looking to transform your sales team to boost their effectiveness and increase your bottom line?
Schedule your free consultation to find out how we can coach your sales team to success. We provide the tools your team needs to meet – and exceed – your sales goals through a custom solution that works for your unique business.