Selling Techniques: Tips to improve your influencing skills
The ability to communicate and get our message across is one of the most critical business communication skills any of us can have. The way in which we communicate with others forms the basis of people’s opinions on who we are and what we stand for, and in a business sense can have a significant impact on our relationships with colleagues and clients alike.
Obviously we are all individuals, and behave in varying ways when we are communicating, depending on our personality types. It is however, interesting and important to realise that there are ways to adapt our communication styles, changing our behaviour as opposed to our personality, in order to improve our influencing skills and achieve our goals in terms of interaction, persuasion and effective communication.
Insights Discovery Colour Wheel:
A really interesting way of looking at this is through tried and tested models that have been developed to give us a common language, resulting in effective communication, and enable us to recognise our own and others behaviours; then adapting a communication style best suited to that individual.
Following on from Hippocrates “Four Humours” model, whereby he claimed to be able to predict a person’s behaviour after identifying which “humour” type a person had; a perceptive and insightful learning system was developed by Swiss psychologist Dr Carl Jung (1875-1961). This uses four colour energies, that are applied to our personalities in varying measures; Fiery Red, Sunshine Yellow, Earth Green and Cool Blue. Each colour is associated with different attributes;
- Fiery Red - extroverted, high energy, action-orientated, direct and authoritative
- Sunshine Yellow - strongly extroverted, radiant and friendly, positive, concerned with good human relations, persuasive and democratic
- Earth Green - focus on values and depth in relationships, democratic, personal, desire for understanding
- Cool Blue - introverted, desire to understand the world around them, prefer written communication to maintain clarity and precision, desire for analysis
After taking a questionnaire, Jung claimed he could tell what degrees of each colour make up someone’s personality. And with this knowledge, we are then able to find the best and most effective methods of communication to best suit each personality type, stressing again that in doing so we don’t change our own personality but our behaviour. After uncovering which “colour” or personality traits you mostly have, you can identify strengths and areas of development.
If we are aware of our own personality traits, we can recognise how these traits are perceived by others, and in turn adapt to suit each situation and interaction effectively, to achieve the best results in terms of individuals, teams, sales, leadership and organisations.
There are clues everywhere, both in terms of our own communication style and that of those around us. A lot can be read into the style of an email, the appearance of somebody’s workstation and of course, the handshake, to name but a few.
There are of course other ways of adapting when it comes to perfecting our influencing skills.
It is vitally important to go into any business interaction adequately prepared. Feeling comfortable in what you are wearing will make you feel less nervous, more at ease and ready to approach the meeting in the right manner, professionally. If you appear awkward, this can set the tone for the meeting. You are less likely to achieve your objective, as your potential client will not feel comfortable with your ability to deliver if you come across as being unconfident. There is however a balance, and overconfidence can often go against you as well. You want to appear balanced and approachable, knowledgeable and realistic.
First impressions count for a lot. If you enter a room with slumped shoulders, little or no eye contact and are not paying attention to the interaction, you are likely to come across as uninterested, rude and non-committal. This is obviously not the impression that you want to give in such a situation. Good posture, a firm handshake, smiling and eye contact are all positive signs that you are fully involved in the interaction that is taking place, and your potential client or colleague is then more likely to give positive feedback to you in terms of their body language, resulting in a successful exchange.
Appropriate use of Language
There are ways of using language in a persuasive context, and some phrases can be used in your interactions that can have a positive effect on influencing someone’s behaviour or response. In a sales situation, show that you are listening to the client’s needs, and be the solution that they are looking for.
Because - giving a reason behind an action will get more of a positive response
Now - by emphasising a sense of urgency, this can help to encourage positive action
Proven - if you can back up what you are claiming this will of course go in your favour
Results - a forecast of what the Organisation will see in terms of results can be very powerful
It is important to remember that the way in which we perceive a situation or person is all subjective. We all see things in a slightly different way, depending on our personality type (and other factors such as experiences, beliefs, values etc.). Being conscious of these perceptions can help in the way we adapt our own communication styles in order to achieve our objectives on a day to day basis, in whatever situation we are in.