How do you communicate?

I recently worked with someone who was struggling to write introduction emails - and I think this is something we can all relate to.

Sending out that first hello can make you feel like a clammy teenager, and stumble over every word you're typing, questioning every letter until you're psyching yourself out and trying to sound professional, losing your own voice somewhere along the way.

It's like you're wearing a mask, pretending to be someone and something you aren't because you think you're supposed to sound a certain way to be successful.

Even when the leads are warm and you know for a fact that the potential customer wants what you have to sell it can be difficult to get that first introduction right, and to hit just the right tone.

My advice is - as it always is - stop trying to be something you're not.

Avoid all of that clunky jargon, all that blue sky thinking, ourselves and yourselves, touching base nonsense - we all know it's hideous 80's wideboy sales speak, and it's utterly meaningless. As is pretending that what you're selling is unique, or that you - just like everyone else - have a USP that makes you stand out from the crowd.

You have to remember that, even as you're closing a sale, selling is only a side effect of what you're aiming to do; pushing anyone into a sale they don't much want might feel like a victory (you know, if you're a monster...) but wouldn't you prefer to build a mutually beneficial relationship, based on trust and the acceptance that both sides get something positive out of the exchange?

If you want to sell sell sell and don't care who you trample in the process, I don't think my advice is the right place for you. If, however, you want to be respected in your industry, build a reliable, steady customer base and develop your skills, experience and steadily grow over time - this is the place to be.

The one thing that you have to offer over any of your competitors is you. You can't sell yourself if you aren't sure who you are, and can't effectively communicate it. Attempting to fill your communications with the jargon and language of how you think you ought to sound is just going to make it clear that you're not connected to what you're saying, and make you look a pillock. When I read an email full of jargon and pitch-speak I never think "golly, this is a proper professional salesperson, and I cannot wait to take their call!" - I think "ugh, blah blah, schmooze schmooze, bullcrap bullcrap, no" and delete it - even if the product or service was something I initially had an interest in.

I don't work with people I don't like, and can't communicate with - and it really is that simple.

If you're pretending to be someone you're not, people aren't going to be able to like you - or to build a genuine relationship with you.

So next time you're preparing a sales email, an introductory call, or you bump into a prospective new client in a networking meeting, don't slip into the slimy jargon, just be you. If you're comfortable, confident and know what you're talking about, that will instil that same level of confidence in the customer - if you seem relaxed and sure, they'll relax and be sure that you're the right choice.

Don't overthink it - just be your brand!

#honesty #communication #communications #marketing #relationshipbuilding

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