Are you preparing an important sales pitch? Are you searching for the best data, current statistics and impressive quotes? Find out how the 5 most important secrets to make a great impression.

Whether you are connecting with clients or prospects, your success depends on how you communicate. More and more sales professionals know that communication is the key ingredient of success. In fact, sales communication training is growing by leaps and bounds. The reason why? Sales norms, sales standards, and sales practices have changed.

Gone are the days of the plaid suit. Gone are the days of the talk-as-fast-as-you-can and never listen. Gone. Good-bye.

If your organization wants to escape outdated modes of selling, act fast. It’s time to boost confidence with communication training. Here are 5 tips to get the ball rolling in the right direction.

1. Ask More Than Answer
There’s no simpler way to start communicating…and stop pitching. Ask more questions. Ask about facts, figures, experiences and feelings. Ask about history and culture. Ask about trends and patterns.

Ask your clients and prospects to show you what’s important in their world.

See…it’s not all about your product and services. In fact, it’s much more about getting into their worldview.

2. Get Curious
As tempting as it is to jump in and solve every problem, don’t. Get curious. This means, continue Tip 1. Ask more questions. Ask why. Ask how. Ask why again.

Focus on extracting their real experiences, problems and frustrations. The more you get curious, the more you’ll see the real picture. And it won’t be a partial, tip of the iceberg view. It will be a deep, powerful and insightful understanding of their needs—and the ideal solutions.

3. Shift Focus
Keep going. This is where the rubber meets the road. Shift your focus from “I” to “You.”

In classic terms, this is also where the shift happens between features and benefits. But so many people struggle with this and continue to mush them together, that this is an easier way to get to the core.

If you are talking about things that matter to you, your organization or your product and services, you are speaking in “I” terms. More often than not, you’re focusing on features.

If you are speaking to things that matter most to your customer, you are addressing “You” terms. This is the secret side door to speak to benefits.

Seriously. Thousands of expert sales professionals continue to mix this up. Take the shortcut through the side door. Shift things that have a “You” focus.

4. Listen
The lost and ancient art. There’s a lot to learn about listening. It is not just waiting until the other person finishes. It is not forming smart responses while the other person talks. It is not jumping in at rapid-fire speed to look intelligent.

Listening is more than that. Practice the art of listening. Truly listen. Listen to what your client is saying…and not saying. Listen to the emotions underscoring different phrases. Listen to what he or she is saying with their body language.

If you want to improve your sales communication skills, focus on listening. Working with an executive coach is the quickest way to build these skills. You’ll get personal attention, skills practice, and situational exercises to get better at listening.

5. Add Value
Communication is more than filling space. It’s about adding value. As you get more insights into your clients and prospective clients, think long and hard about adding value.

Look outside the bounds of printed materials, case studies and whitepapers. Think about what your client would truly value. Keep asking this question and you’ll jump start creative answers—that will give you a competitive edge.

Oh. One more thing.

While your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife is not on your sales team…you can use each of these tips at home. Who knew that sales communication training could lead to happier relationships?

Author's Bio: 

Milly Sonneman is a recognized expert in visual language. She is the co-director of Presentation Storyboarding, a leading presentation training firm, and author of the popular guides: Beyond Words and Rainmaker Stories available on Amazon. Milly helps business professionals give winning presentations, through Email Marketing skills trainings at Presentation Storyboarding. You can find out more about our courses or contact Milly through our website at: