For the sake of argument let’s just say you are the world’s greatest sales professional. Your company feels you can add a great deal of value in expanding the organizations market share outside the USA. You are asked to transfer to France to expand the operations there. When you arrive it becomes more and more clear the language gap is going to be a problem.
Your new apartment is ready to go except you need one more thing. A big flat screen TV. You make your way to the local TV store but all the signs are in French and the prices are in Euros. The clerk walks up to you and says something like doodle do we dowa? I’m serious that is what it sounded like. I tried to explain that I was looking for a large flat screen TV, but I didn’t understand what it takes to hook up a TV in France. Do they have HD, how large of a format can I go, and a whole host of other things like how do I get it delivered, fixed if it breaks, or sold when I move back home?
It was obvious the clerk was frustrated and I was frustrated, so what was I to do? I decided to take a walk up the street and look for someone who spoke both French and English so I could ask my questions and buy a TV. As I walked up the street I came across another electronics store and decided to walk in and look around. I was greeted once again by a clerk who spoke to me in French, and I responded with “you don’t happen to speak English do you?” To my surprise the clerk said “yes, actually I do, how can I help you?”
I was so happy and relieved. I explained what I wanted and the clerk walked me through everything. I noticed however the prices on the TV’s seemed higher than at the first place I visited up the street. I challenged the clerk and asked about price matching. He responded with, “sir, we are a bit more costly yes however, we speak English. If you have a problem you simply call us. If you need assistance hooking it up or want us to help you, simply call us. Surely the fact that we speak English is worth something to you, is it not?”
He had me, he was right, the fact that he spoke my language and was able to communicate with me was worth the extra cost.
This story illustrates the importance of communicating with your prospects in their language. Every day we talk in our language to each other, our customers and our prospects. A good portion of the time the information we share like acronyms, technical terms, and sales speak is not fully understood by the people you are talking too. Yet we continue to communicate in that way.
When the Doctor told me my son was experiencing Supraventricular tachycardia, I asked what in the world is that? You see the Physician had to break it down for me to understand the problem, the symptoms or causes, and the options for a solution. I don’t speak doctor, so the discussion had to be in my language, one that I understand.
As a sales professional it is critical to communicate with your prospects in their language, a language they will understand. When talking to the C-Suite you will be required to talk to them in their language. Just like when you are in a foreign country trying to survive, the person that spoke your language was the person you decided to buy from. It is also the person you were willing to spend more money with.
Here is the bottom line. If you expect to be successful selling now and in the future it is critical to learn the language of your prospects. Learn to ask your discovery questions in a manner that will facilitate your prospect to better explain their issues, pains, and goals. In addition learn to communicate your value as it relates to the issues outlined by your prospect. Remember communication is a two way street and is about sharing a message both parties will understand and respond too.
Source: ROI 4 Sales