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As a sales professional, you spend most of your time out in the field, building relationships with potential and current customers to increase your sales. Communication is key in your career; without effective, thoughtful communication, these important relationships can falter. You devise effective sales pitches to increase your success, but you should also focus on general communication skills so that you can adeptly maneuver through any conversation with a potential client. Understanding the ways to communicate professionally on sales calls can help to increase your sales productivity and make you a more successful sales professional.

Know How to Small Talk

You want the bulk of your meeting to be about what you’re selling, but you also don’t want any awkward silences during a sales pitch. Becoming comfortable with small talk—often with strangers—helps boost your communication skills on the job. Have a few tried and true topics to mention should you face an uncomfortable lull in conversation. When possible, tie the small talk into the product or service you’re selling. If you’re a pharmaceutical representative selling allergy medication, for example, you can mention the weather, such as a lack of rain—and tie that into how little rain means more pollen and, thus, more allergies, making your product important.

Have Canned Answers

Chances are as a B2B sales person you field the same questions from potential customers repeatedly. Take some time to draft a concise, thoughtful response to these questions. Potential customers likely want to know why your product or service beats the competition. Cite a few specific reasons, complete with facts, statistics, or research-based evidence, whenever possible. If you sell software to small businesses, for example, you could state: “Research shows that businesses that use our software save $2,000 a month and 25 man hours.” Prepared responses can be convincing when you have impressive facts to share, and designing answers ahead of time means you’ll speak without hesitation when the question is asked.

Know When to Use Industry Speak

Using industry-specific terminology can help you or hurt you in sales. Know when to use it and when to avoid it. If you’re talking shop with a long-time customer who knows the ins and outs of your product or service, industry-specific terminology shows your knowledge and helps you relate to your customer. On the other hand, a potential customer who is new to your industry might be confused or even put off by too many technical terms. Opt for industry-specific language when your customer has a high industry knowledge, and choose everyday language to relate to customers unfamiliar with whatever you are selling.

Conclusion

Effective, professional communication is essential in the highly competitive sales industry. A sales professional who can communicate well can relate to customers, answer questions, and showcase his or her knowledge with ease. Such skills can help win over customers and increase sales, leading to long-term success.