By Michael Altshuler
Jun 24, 2002 - 2:52:00 PM

Let me ask you a question. If I wanted to meet you somewhere and said "let's meet first thing in the morning" - what time would you meet me? Here's another one. If I said "I'll be over in a little while" - how long would a little while be to you? I don't know what your answers were, but first thing to me was 8:15, and a little while was a half hour. Chances are we had different answers and most people do. That's because we all have a different perspective on things - it's our unique paradigm - the way we view the world based on our unique life experiences.

The same words have different meaning to different people. This is so critically important when dealing with customers. We've all had those situations where we thought we communicated something in a very clear way to a customer only to find out they interpreted it totally different. Then we say to ourselves (in frustration), how could they not understand exactly what I meant. It happens all too often. The next time you communicate, your thinking has to change from "this is what I meant" to "how will the customer interpret what I'm trying to say, and what will it mean to them".

Here are four proven techniques you can use to communicate more effectively.

1. Be SPECIFIC when giving or receiving communication regarding dates, times, places, amounts, etc. Example:

BAD - I'll get back to you later today
GOOD - I'll call you at 3:00 today

BAD - You'll save a lot of money
GOOD - You'll save 32% or $245.00

2. When SOMEONE is communicating to you, restate what they said in your words as you understand it, and then ask them if your understanding is correct, and is that what they meant.

3. When YOU are communicating with someone on important points, ask that person to restate what you said back to you and ask if they understand.

4. Write and speak from the customer's perspective and competency level, not you own and speak their language.

Effective and specific communication is vital to your success. I think you should seriously review these points when you have the time. Better yet - commit these four techniques to memory right now and then use them every time you communicate with your customers. Now that's being specific!

Michael Altshuler is a professional speaker, author and national authority on sales and personal development and is the creator of Power Dynamics� .


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