Talking is easy. Communication on the other hand, which is an exchange or communion with another, requires greater skill.
A conversation exchanged with another demands that we listen and speak skillfully, not just talk mindlessly. And interacting with fear, anxiety, or frustration, people can be even more difficult, because we’re less skillful communicators when caught up in these types of emotions. When it comes to building your business, effective communication is all about, first, receiving information that others are sending to you with as little distortion as possible. And secondly, conveying your messages to others clearly and effectively. In our business most messages are muddled by an over anxious sender, or misinterpreted by the recipient because they have no clue what you are trying to convey. This can cause tremendous confusion, wasted effort and missed opportunities. NULL
Remember this: Communication is only successful when both the sender and the receiver understand the same information.
Often times ideas that you actually send do not necessarily reflect what you want to get across, causing a communications breakdown and creating roadblocks that could stand in the way of your relationships and business building opportunities. Being able to communicate effectively is essential if you want to build a successful network marketing business. To do this, you must understand what your message is, who you are sending it to, and how it will be perceived. You must also weigh-in the circumstances surrounding. If, for example, you are trying to get your opportunity across to someone on an elevator ride between a couple floors, you are very likely going to communicate your message ineffectively. So what’s the secret to learning how to communicate effectively? Make a Great First Impression is a good place to start. It takes just a quick glance, a few seconds, for someone to evaluate you when you meet for the first time. In this short time, the other person forms an opinion about you based on your appearance, your body language, your demeanor, your mannerisms, and how you are dressed. Think about it. You see a person for the first time and right away you get an initial “feel” for the person. They have a smile and seem friendly. They are well dressed and look professional. They walk with confidence. They look you in the eye. They have a firm handshake. And they seem pleasant when they start to speak. All these things are part of the communication process, and especially the first impression. With every new encounter, you are evaluated and the person’s impression of you is formed.
These first impressions can be nearly impossible to reverse or undo, making those first encounters extremely important, for they set the tone for the all the relationships that follow.
Be yourself and be at ease. If you are feeling uncomfortable and on edge, this can make the other person ill at ease and that’s a sure way to create the wrong first impression. If you are calm and confident, the other person will feel more at ease. When you are trying too hard to win the approval of another they feel your energy, your intention. On the other hand be careful not to come off too confident so that it feels too much like you are trying to control. Just remember that people are people and most everyone will respond favorably to you when you are friendly and relaxed and not trying to be someone you’re not. In each individual’s mind they are asking. “What does this have to do with me?” They are tuned into this station: W.I.I.F.M. “What’s In It For Me?” In the mind of your receiver you want them to be thinking “Me too” ‘Yes, I have that problem” “Yes, I feel that way too.” “Yes, I can relate to this person and what they are saying.” “Yes, this makes sense.” Or simply, “This person seems friendly I think I’ll talk with her.” If you try to overwhelm them with your product or opportunity before you have established they have a need, you will lose them. This is the single biggest mistake made by network marketers.
Remember this: People are looking for reasons “to listen”…and people are looking for reasons “not to listen.”
To communicate effectively just stop and think. What do they need, what problems do they have and how can I help them to solve that problem? This is where questions come in. Questions help you to establish that they have a problem that needs solving in the first place. Here’s a great rule for communication I learned from experience: If it is not necessary to say, then it is necessary not to say. Think about that statement for a moment. “If it is not necessary to say, then it is necessary not to say.” It simply means to leave out the “stuff” that has no benefit to the person to which you are communicating. Barriers to building your business almost always stem from networkers offering too much information too fast or information that has no meaning for the receiver. For example, the greatest mistake made is “dumping the whole load” before establishing the need. When in doubt just remember that less is more. Get good at asking questions and establishing a need. One of the quickest routes to awkward silence is asking questions that can be simply answered with yes or no. For example you might ask a stranger you just met in the ski lodge: “Do you ski?” Their response is “Yes.” Where do you go from there? Or you could ask the question, “How do you like skiing here?” By asking a question that requires a more detailed answer, the other person has to elaborate and offer as much information as possible. Why ask, “Are you enjoying yourself,” when the question could be phrased, “What do you think of this party?” That can start the communication process off in the right direction. Be careful not to rattle off a string of questions too fast, or try to propose marriage on the first encounter. A conversation should not be an interrogation or make someone feel uncomfortable.
Listen twice and speak once. You have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Therefore, you should listen twice as much as you speak.
Really take an active interest in what this person is saying, and if it’s a subject you know nothing about, you can use it to your advantage. Even admit that it is not a familiar topic. Would he mind telling you more about it? People love to share what they know and nothing increases confidence more than sharing a subject close to the heart. Example: You meet someone at the cocktail lounge in a hotel and you get into a conversation. “Where are you from?” “I live in Halifax Nova Scotia.” “Really. I’ve never been there. What’s it like?” Now you are in a conversation. You can keep asking questions…”What’s the weather like?’ “What’s the population?” “What do you do for a living” which will start a whole new conversation. Listening is one of the most important skills you can develop in building your network marketing business. How well you listen has a major impact on the quality of your relationships with others. Relationships are the lifeblood of your business. Why do you want to listen? Listen to obtain information. Listen to understand. Listen for enjoyment. Listen to learn. Listen to establish a need. Listen to help them solve a problem. Listen so you know what to say and how to say it. The fact
is that most network marketers are not good at all at listening. Clearly, listening is a skill that we can all benefit from improving.
By becoming a better listener, you will improve your productivity, as well as your ability to influence, persuade, sponsor and lead.
The way to become a better listener is to practice “active listening”. This is where you make a conscious effort to hear not only the words that another person is saying but, more importantly, to try and understand the total message being sent. It takes a lot of concentration and determination to be an active listener. Old habits are hard to break. And if your listening habits are as bad as many people’s are in our business, then there’s a lot of habit-breaking to do! Just be deliberate with your listening and remind yourself constantly that your goal is to truly hear what the other person is saying. Set aside all other thoughts and behaviors and concentrate on the message. Learn to start conversations. But, all too often, people are afraid to take a chance and be the first to start a conversation because they fear rejection. Rejection makes a person feel inferior. In reality, rejection is changing one’s self-worth. It’s not about the other person at all. Here’s the key: No one can take your self-worth away from you; only you can do that. No one can reject you unless you give them permission to do so. Rejection is an illusion. You may think that you are being rejected when in reality the other person is just having a bad day or is thinking about something else. Why spend time worrying about a “what if” situation? Take a chance and keep trying for what you want. The only way to learn how to communicate with people and to hone your skills is by practicing. Hanging back in the shadows and playing it safe will lead you nowhere.
Each encounter helps to increase your confidence and diversify your experiences. The more experiences you have communicating with others the better you become at it.
Try talking with strangers in the supermarket. Better yet, just ask them a question and see how long you can keep them talking. In no time, the skills you taught yourself regarding how to communicate with people will become second nature and won’t require any thought at all. Eventually it will become a breeze.