>I have heard it said that merely 15% of our success in life is directly related to our technical skill. Meaning those skills we spend our youth and early adult life honing and paying for through years in school, college, certifications or trade schools only account for 15% of our success. The other 85% is actually our ability to communicate with and connect with others. Interesting though, no where in life do we really study or learn communication.

Your ability to communicate is a powerful asset in advancing your ability to sell. Selling is emotional. People buy for a variety of reasons, and the reasons that continually pop to the top of the list are: “I like my sales rep,” “My sales person watches out for me, she cares about me,” “I like her and look forward to seeing her, she is fun,” “I believe what my sales rep tells me, I know he has my best interest at heart.” Those reasons are all about connection, emotion and a sales persons ability to communicate.

So, where do you start with communication, how do you improve your communication technique, skills and abilities?

First, learn how people communicate. Find a personality test and model that works for you and study the different styles and personality types. It will be eye opening. You will laugh, you will understand and most importantly you will learn why and how you gravitate to some people and are so confused by or repelled by others. The model you choose will help you uncover how people share information, how they process information and how they like to receive information. When you take the time to understand the different ways people communicate you can begin to understand what makes communicating with some people so natural and easy, and why communicating with others seems to be a challenge.

Second, delve into your personality style and understand how you communicate, what is your style. There are a number of communication tests or communication profiles you can take that will help you determine that. I happen to use the DISC assessment because it is easy to understand, yet can be complex and has many layers if you want to dedicate yourself to continuous learning and improvement in terms of communication. Any test is valuable and provides good information as long as you are open to learning and are willing to accept and use the information.

People have different communication styles. Different ways they view and see the world. It is important for you to first understand your style and be open to learning the strengths and weaknesses of how you communicate.

Third, learn to understand others. Once you have a good handle on your communication preference and why you are the way your are, take the time to learn about the other styles. What are the strengths of the other styles, what are their limitations, how can your style benefit and/or irritate their style? What is important to them and what do they value in terms of communication?

Lastly, learn to adjust your style to better communicate with others. Yes, it is true you are not stuck with the personality style you are born with. Sure it is your natural style and when you are overly excited or overly stressed this style will most likely be the way you communicate. However, by learning about the other styles and what is of value and importance to them, you can actually learn to adjust your style to communicate more effectively and easily with others.

Let’s look at an example, if you are a high energy, fast-paced, strong-willed, quick decision maker and you set up a sales call. If you will first take a few moments, look for the clues you have learned from studying communication styles, you can get a fair assessment of the style preferences of the person on whom you are calling. So, let’s say for this example, your prospect is lower energy, slower paced and needs time, information and a relationship before they make a decision. Think if you know that, you may make a few adjustments to your calling style?

Sure! You’ll slow your pace down, both move and talk a little more slowly. You will work on the front end to spend a little more time developing a relationship and making a connection. And you may even break the decision process down into a series of smaller decisions so it does not seem so overwhelming or like such a big decision.

Communication is a powerful, powerful tool in the sales process. I encourage you, if you want to turn your prospects into customers, to invest in learning more about personality styles and how you can adjust yours to better connect with others.