Communication is a key for the success of any sales person or leader. How you keep your customers, colleagues and staff informed will determine how easily you get things done. Communication comes in many ways. I just had a call with a colleague and he said: It was interesting what was said at our meeting and more interesting what wasn’t said. We communicate by what we say (or don’t say), the way we say things, the body language displayed, and how we communicate the written word.

How do you communicate?

How you communicate tells a lot about how you treat people and the expectation you have. As a leader you need to create a well thought out strategy and then tell your team on a regular and consistent basis what is happening and what you expect. You send e-mails, you communicate in person in meetings, one-on-one and on your intranet. My experience is that you can’t communicate too often. Also your actions communicate a whole other set of messages. So make sure your actions align with your written and verbal messages.

As a rep how are you communicating with your customers? What information do you send them? How do you let them know when something is wrong and how do you communicate successes. Do you send thank you cards; do you keep your customer aware of all the issues going on? When was the last time you had a formal review with your top customers to share what has happened in the last six months and what is expected to happen in the next six months? When there is a change in delivery or fulfillment of the deal how do you communicate this to the customer? How does your organization connect with customers? While you don’t control this you need to understand what it means to your customers.

How do you communicate with your team? Do you keep everyone connected and up to date. When there is an issue to be dealt with – where are you? How do people know what is expected of them. Do you have regular and productive meetings with your team to update and make sure you have created the appropriate message? Do you take responsibility for your results and interpretation of your messages? When you take responsibility your communication and insights become clear and focused.

What is your communication strategy?

You need to have a strategy that is formal and informal and communicates what you need to have heard, read and understood. Human beings need to hear a new message as many as six or seven times before they “get” it. So if you communicate a new idea or concept once – good luck at getting buy in and understanding. This can be frustrating, however, the aggravation from not communicating will be far more frustrating and divisive with your team.

So if you need to communicate a new message six or seven times how do you propose to make that happen. You can send a written document, an e-mail, marketing materials, verbal communication in speeches and meetings. How do you mix it up and keep the message the same and focused on what you want to accomplish.

One of the reasons customers and team members get confused is that your communication is non-existent, is inconsistent or the message changes each month to what staff fondly refer to as “the flavour of the month”! You want to be consistently consistent.

Your communication must be honest, truthful and communicated by you. It must sound like you and be believable. So write it, review it, think about and then say it out loud. Do you believe what you are saying? If you have someone else writing and communicating for you your team and customers will not get behind the message – they won’t trust you.

What works for you?

We all communicate differently and in different manners. Know what works for you. Barrack Obama is a great orator – George Bush, not so much. How is your written word? Is your written message efficient and to the point – or is it all over the place. Are you best in one-to-one meetings? When you are in a meeting - what is the goal of your communications? If you are consistent and communicate the same message over and over again, people begin to get behind you and your mission.

Remember – Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.

Sayers Says………

What is your communication style? Are you being consistently consistent? Are your team and customers behind your message? What is your communication strategy? What are you saying and not saying? Do you believe what you are communicating?

Share with me what communication format works best for you.

Open the lines of communication………………….

Author's Bio: 

Bill Sayers speaks, coaches, leads education sessions and provides management consulting services to a variety of companies. Bill has been praised for his leadership, common-sense approach and ability to inspire sales people to new levels of success. His easy manner and strong public-speaking skills make him an engaging facilitator. Bill connects with senior executives and sales professionals alike, as he shares his real-life experiences and provides the appropriate tools and strategies for success in today’s business world.

Bill’s book Funnels & Forecasts – The Great Game of Sales is available on Amazon. Sayers Says: "This second edition was important for me. It has allowed me to have my book and its message sent out to a global audience. The feedback from readers has been that the book is an easy read and that there are lots of common sense advice and tools to help sales people be more successful in their sales game. Funnels and Forecasts - The Great Game of Sales will help sales people in their quest to improve their game."

He has been a professor at George Brown College teaching Personal Selling Skills to the Sports and Event Marketing Graduate Program, and is on the faculty of Canadian Professional Sales Association and Canadian Management Centre.

To receive our free “How are you Playing The Game” Scorecard and a 45 minute one-on-one session with Bill Sayers, email: or visit: .