I've heard Alan Weiss say it before and still found it profound. Alan is the author of the best selling "Million Dollar Consulting" plus 40 other books. He is an independent consultant who generates a seven figure income from his home office with no staff. I recently attended a full day workshop that he delivered. I believe that his words are worth listening to.
He was advising professional service providers about how they talk to prospects and clients.
Although he didn't expand on the components of language when he stated this progression I believe I heard it in other parts of his talk.
These are the components of Language as I heard and interpret it.
Expand your working vocabulary. Not to impress your friends and family but to connect with successful people on a higher intellectual level. Your purpose isn't to act elitist but to demonstrate that you belong. One of the words that Alan helped me add to my vocabulary is efficacy.
Don't let the first point fool you. You still need to be frugal with the number of words and pay attention to the punch, flow and clarity of your phrases. One technique that Alan uses is to group key points into three's.
The one who asks the questions controls the conversation. The one who asks better questions gathers more important information and demonstrates superior understanding. From my experience interviewing over 500 business leaders on my radio show I've learned that it's easy to answer a good question. It requires more thought to ask a good question. Any fool can ask a dumb question.
Framing or Reframing
Information isn't power. Context is. Alan often presents a controversial or contrarian point of view. His famous retort to an objection is, "That's exactly why you need me." After the confused gasp he then redraws the scene.
Analogies and Stories
Alan used many colourful analogies and stories throughout his presentation. My guess is that he uses similar colourful language when speaking with his prospects and clients. The stories he told provided memorable context for his points. The analogies presented visual attention grabbers and persuaders.
Examine the components of language. Note the importance of language to your business success. Language matters when you answer the phone, leave voice messages and call prospects. Language matters when your staff talks to prospects and clients. Language matters when you meet with your clients to close deals, build value and discuss details.
These tips are especially important to those who wrongly believe that words are only 7% of your message.
© George Torok is the Speech Coach for Executives. He coaches business leaders to deliver million dollar presentations. He trains professionals to deliver Superior Presentations. Download your free copy of How to Handle Things That Go Wrong in Your Presentation Discover the Answers to Questions about Public Speaking