What are you really saying?

New on the job, Alberta was asked to attend corporate sales training by her Manager. Eager to learn more about sales, Alberta anticipated that after class was over, she would witness an immediate improvement in her sales effort.

Alberta conveyed after the fact that she learned many lessons on how to communicate with clients. But to her great disappointment, the lessons were negative in nature by having witnessed how not to communicate.

Although Alberta was in a classroom situation, the following lessons she learned apply to client meetings:

1. No one holds greater or less importance than another

The instructor clearly had favorites in class. For the most part, she favored a young athletic gentleman trying to make it in the corporate sales environment. The favoritism was shown in multiple ways including, verbal, facial and awarded prizes. In-between classroom sessions, students conveyed their dismay by the instructor’s flagrant favoritism.

Translating this lesson to corporate meetings, should you ever have a meeting with the CEO at the table with his seemingly lower-level clerical help, treat each as if they are the CEO. Respect for everyone, no matter the position, will raise your like-ability and trust factors. Accordingly, more people will be inclined to purchase from you.

2. Respond appropriately to questions

Alberta witnessed the instructor responding to a classmate by admonishing her in a loud, not so nice tone, saying, “No, No, No!” The response was perceived as if the instructor might be speaking to a two-year old rather than a mature adult. And no explanation was ever offered as to “Why” the answer was no. Additionally, the response not only offended the person asking the question, but the rest of the class members.

On occasion prospective clients may ask you difficult questions. Should you not be certain which direction to begin your answer, the best response is to either ask, “What has been your experience with this”, or, “why are you asking the question so that I may fully understand the nuances included?”

In this manner, you are provided additional information and understanding on how to answer. Your reply will be more in-depth and on target for the client needs.

3. Consistency

Alberta witnessed the instructor consistently behaving negatively toward a few class members and wondered how many classes would take place until word got out that the behavior isn’t acceptable.

Continually striving to understand your prospective clients’ background, experiences and goals, you will do a far better job in providing appropriate proposals that are met with appreciation. By the time a prospective client asks for a proposal, be aware they are not just shopping for the best price. They are expecting you to have listened well, captured their important details and translated all of it into a thoughtful proposal.

A proposal request is a signal they want to purchase from you and also an underlying request to please do your best for them. Ultimately, receiving business is a thank you for listening well, taking the time to understand need, and having shown respect to everyone involved.

These tips will help to uniquely set you apart from all of your competitors and serve to build your personal brand and reputation. In turn, you will see a steady increase in repeat business, referrals and testimonials, as well as lead you to the Smooth Sale!


Elinor Stutz, CEO of Smooth Sale, (800) 704-1499; authored “INSPIRED Business A New View for Building Business and Communities”; “Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results”, and “HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On Interviews“. Elinor was designated as a “Top 25 Sales Influencer for 2012.”