Unlocking the Art of Effective Communication in Sales: Why Your Ideas Aren’t Landing and How to Fix It

Mar 11, 2024 | Sales

The Struggle of Being Unheard

You’ve been there: you pitch a potentially game-changing idea to your team or a client, only to be met with indifference, or worse, silence. The feeling of not being heard can be frustrating and demoralizing, especially when you’re in sales and so much hinges on effective communication. Let’s delve into why your ideas might not be hitting the mark and strategies for improving your communication.

The Three Obstacles to Being Heard

  1. Your Audience Is Not Fully Present: Perhaps they’re checking their emails, or mentally crafting their grocery list. Either way, they’re not actively listening.
  2. Lack of Trust: Your audience might be physically present but emotionally absent because they haven’t fully trusted your expertise yet.
  3. Ownership and Ego: Sometimes, leaders or clients will only act on an idea if they feel like it was their own, leading them to overlook your contributions.

Setting the Right Communication Stage

Before pointing fingers, let’s turn the lens inward. Remember that feeling of frustration when your ideas fell on deaf ears? Now, ensure you aren’t doing the same. Be an active, intentional listener when others speak.

Regarding your own communication, it’s essential to evaluate the medium. If you’re resorting to lengthy emails to pitch your ideas, that’s your first problem. Emails often go unread or misinterpreted as they’re not ideal for nuanced conversations. Opt instead for face-to-face meetings, or use platforms like Zoom or Teams to ensure your message is both heard and understood.

Building Trust Through Connection

According to the 2022 Trust Outlook Global Research study, the top reason people change their opinion is “Trusted Relationships.” Trust is the cornerstone of sales; it can make or break a deal. Trust is built on four pillars: Connection, Competence, Character, and Consistency. The fastest way to build trust? Focus on connection first. Do your homework, establish common ground, and ask genuine, open-ended questions to start building rapport.

Navigating Ego and Ownership: The Art of Seeding Ideas

So, you’ve gotten the ear of your client or boss, but they still seem hesitant to take your idea on board. This could be because people often want to feel like an idea was theirs before they champion it. It’s not ideal, but it’s human behavior, and we can navigate it.

Enter the tactic of “seeding.” This involves subtly embedding your ideas in conversations, allowing the other person to come to your conclusion on their own. It takes patience and skill but can be highly effective, especially in sales where buy-in is half the battle.

Patience Is Your Ally

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is effective communication. If you’re not getting through initially, don’t throw in the towel. Keep at it. It’s those who persevere beyond the first hurdle who will eventually break through and make lasting impacts.

Mastering Human Behavior for Sales Success

Let’s face it, a lot of this boils down to understanding and navigating human behavior, which is core to being successful in sales. It’s not just about having a great product or a polished pitch; it’s about effectively communicating your ideas in a way that makes people listen, trust, and ultimately, act. So the next time you have an idea that you believe is worth sharing, remember these strategies and set yourself up for success.