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How to Talk the Language of your Customers

How many times has this happened to you? You are talking with someone (a potential customer) and you come to a point where you question yourself whether or not they are really following you, or if they are onboard with whatever it is you are saying? Then you understand exactly the importance of talking the customers' language.

One of the biggest problems that marketers and sales people face is the communication with the potential customers, and the language used. By language, we mean the method of communication, and not the actual language (country) spoken. All marketers and sales people should speak but one language: The Customer's Language. Unfortunately, it is easy to get tangled up in our own language in trying to lead the way, which might result to a communication gap between you and potential customers.

Here are some tips on how to make sure that you speak the customer's language:

  1. Feedback Loops: As you present your product or service, make small pauses and ask for feedback. In the feedback you will understand whether or not the customer is following or not what it is you are trying to say.

  2. Terminologies and Acronyms: Avoid them at all costs! Speak in a simple language, so simple that even a child would understand it. Avoid using acronyms that make sense only to you, and not the customer. Instead of acronyms, use complete sentences.

  3. Assumptions: Don't assume! Just because it makes sense for you, it doesn't mean that it makes sense for the customer as well. Don't assume that they see it with the same lens as you, or that your logic adheres to theirs.

  4. Listen: Stop talking and listen. This is the number one rule. Listen to how the said customer is talking, what language are they using, and respond back in a similar manner. That's the language they understand.

  5. Ego: When we talk, as human beings, we have a tendency to talk in a way that feeds our self, our egoism, and that is a natural tendency. To understand your customer's language, you need to put their ego first. Stop using words such as "I", or "myself" or "me", and instead address your sales pitch with words like "You", "Yours", "For you".

To explain this better, here is how I learned the importance of this, back in 2015, as I attempted to sell my first AWD vehicle (All Wheel Drive). The said customer, in his 60s, wanted to upgrade his vehicle, for a 4x4. Now, I had done my homework, and knew all the in and outs of the AWD system so I laid it on the customer, as if I were a car encyclopedia, in the hopes that they would understand and see the benefits of it. When I finished my pitch, the customer looked at me with a confused gaze, and asked : "But can I put my dogs in and take it to the village?". All that technical mumbo jumbo was out the window. This customer's main concern was whether or not he could get up to his village with this dogs in the car. I almost lost the sale, because I didn't follow the above 5 principles, in being able to talk effectively the customer's language.

Remember that If you can't communicate in such a way that a potential customer will understand what it is you are saying, then the odds of building a bridge between you and the customer, creating trust, and lead to a close, are slim to none!

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