I started my first business in 1994. I was young, inexperienced and had no idea just how dramatic the roller-coaster of business would be. What I lacked in experience, I made up for with hard work, enthusiasm, grit, and determination. My partners certainly had their hands full because I was also stubborn, perhaps a little hardheaded.
The business expanded rapidly, and we generated $3.3 million (in 2017 dollars) in our first 8 months.
We hired lots of salespeople and created a sales manual for them to have tools, tips, and guidelines at their fingertips. In this article, you will find an excerpt directly out of our original manual. It is as relevant today as it was back in 1994!
During my career, I have met a lot of highly successful people from A-list movie stars to billionaires, scientists, Olympic athletes, CEO’s, and authors. Without exception, every one of them is a master communicator. No matter how motivated you are to succeed, you will fail to realize your full potential if you can’t communicate!
Before becoming an entrepreneur, I was an overachieving, award-winning employee. I regularly exceeded my goals by hundreds of percent and was the top salesman in the country for my company. I worked very hard at mastering the art of communication one-on-one through educating myself, receiving coaching, and lots of practice. Later on, I extended my communication mastery into writing, presenting, and leading groups ranging from a handful to over 5,000 at a time in conferences.
Presenting to groups really challenged me. I was comfortable one-on-one, however, large audiences scared the heaven out of me. Perhaps you can relate?
As a leader, if you can’t communicate, then you can’t lead. Who is going to follow you if you can’t inspire people to take action? How can you attract and retain the best partners, employees, clients, or investors if you can’t articulate where you are going and why people should follow you?
Very few people are born natural communication masters. Most of us have to undo the damage done to us through negative experiences and ineffective education and abusive leaders who suppressed our natural enthusiasm and spontaneous joy of expression!
Investing money, time, and energy in improving our communication and self-expression is one of the best investments we can make. We will get more of what we want, people will follow us, and we will make more money while having more fun doing it!
Here is the excerpt from our 1994 Sales Manual:
If You Want To Be Successful, You Must Master
The Art Of Power Communication!
Effective Leaders are Power Communicators. In contrast to those who announce their powerlessness through their speech and use of language, Power Communicators convey a sense of control and confidence, and as a result are effective at directing the enrollment process.
Besides being in full command of the language and words they use, Power Communicators use fewer hesitations, tentative phrases or qualifiers. (Ums, Ah’s, etc.)
Power Communicators master the art of:
Making definite statements like “Let’s discuss the difference between money & wealth” rather than weaker hedges like “ I think we should discuss the difference between money & wealth.”
Being credible, believable, and acutely aware of their body language.
Not making statements filled with nonfluencies like “I wish you would, uh, give me an idea, um, of what you are looking for, er, in the program.” By refusing to do this, you will evoke more confidence and will develop more self-worth.
Eliminating powerless words that weaken their position. They say “I am not interested in discussing this further,” rather than “I am not very interested in discussing this further.”
Coming straight to the point, however, are not confrontational. They are persuasive, and ask lots of questions that offer options such as “Shall I call you in the morning or would the afternoon be better?”
Changing the balance of power in most situations by simply changing the words they use! This increases their credibility and dramatically improves their ability to influence people in the direction they want!
With practice, coaching, and some tips anyone can master the art of Power Communication.
Here are 10 Keys to Power Communication:
- Articulate clearly with ample of volume. Don’t whisper or speak softly. Don’t shout.
- Vary the inflection of your voice and lower and raise your volume.
- Speak naturally, and never as if you are reading a script.
- Project enthusiasm, and never come across as bored, or disinterested.
- Always be reasonable, and never lose your temper unless it is called for to demonstrate a point.
- Speak with authority and avoid wild claims.
- Answer questions clearly, acknowledge them first then answer, and never avoid answering.
- Practice being able to say the same thing in many different ways.
- Be exclusive, and give the impression that you only make yourself available to a select few people.
- Always follow up and do what you say you will.
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