Language determines Discussion. Discussion determines Relationships. Relationships determine Business.
I’ve heard Alan Weiss say this 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’ve participated in several of his programs. While attending a full day workshop that he delivered. I observed his use of words and noted these lessons.
He was advising professional service providers about how they talk to prospects and clients.
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 attend to the punch, flow and clarity of your phrases.
One technique that Alan uses is to group key points into sets of three. When asked a question, he often responds with, “There are three reasons/benefits/advantages…”
He’ll start with that even though he might not be clear on what the three points are – yet he always comes up with three.
The number three seems to have a magical feeling.
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 silly question. It takes keen listening and thoughtfulness to ask relevant questions.
Framing or Reframing
Information isn’t power. Context is. Alan often conveys 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 the language you use.
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.
There’s a prevalent myth circulating. It wrongly claims that “words are only 7% of your message”. If you haven’t heard it, then forget you read this paragraph. If you believe that. then you are foolishly sabotaging your communication and hence your relationships and business.
Strengthen your language skills to boost your success.
Books by Allan Weiss
© George Torok is the Speech Coach for Executives. He coaches business leaders to deliver million-dollar presentations. He trains professionals to deliver Superior Presentations.