Supercharge Communication by continually perfecting and investing in EVERYTHING that you need to be effective at and are already good at…facilitate decision making to supercharge effective communication.
The following excerpts from Chapter 6 in “What’s Your Point?” explain why continually perfecting the art of decision making is a valuable, even essential, investment in effective communication for professional advisors and persuaders.
#1. Confident Decision Making
Effective communication is vital to sharing ideas, building knowledge, and making decisions. At its best, effective communication results in fruitful collaboration and confident decision making.
Experience has proven to you that facilitating confidently-made decisions benefits prospects and clients. And you! You’ll also establish value in your offerings to both groups.
Professional expertise should facilitate effective communication and negotiation to ensure that desired results are achieved or exceeded for clients. This should be true for every consumer transaction, business deal, meeting, interpersonal workplace interaction, professional consultation, and offering of products and services, whatever the medium, content, or context.
The prospect and client procedures you’ve employed to build your business and client base can be improved on by analysis of how decision making is facilitated. It’s that simple when there are no hidden, under-handed, compromised, dishonest, or criminal intentions involved.
#2. The core evaluation question is, “How can what the professional sees as relatively-simple decisions appear complex to clients?”
Your success is linked to how well and how consistently your communication, in all media, addresses this question when prospects and clients are selecting, choosing, evaluating, buying, selling, investing….
Professionals, executives, entrepreneurs, and advisors must have above-average skill and knowledge in decision making relevant to delivery of their advice, services, and products. This will include the perfected capacity to interview, facilitate, negotiate, and analyze.
Success for clients often rests with how effectively and credibly the professional communicates to create comprehension in each client’s mind.
“Why?”-questions are inherent to and embedded invisibly and otherwise in most procedures and decisions that require professional advice or intervention.
From financial and medical advice to purchasing and education details, consumers and business-to-business decision makers seek out knowledge, skills, and guidance to enable them to confidently make decisions that matter. The more quickly and completely they understand the whys associated with a specific set of choices, the more quickly and completely they can confidently make a final decision that is their best choice.
Professional communication expertise identifies and explains these issues to simplify and clarify what exactly must be chosen or avoided, and why. This reveals precisely what acceptance involves.
Professionals who do not understand what their clients do not understand, often say: “It’s a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ decision. You want it or you don’t. You do it or you don’t.” But it is not that simple to the client or would they hesitate?
Clients who are overwhelmed or distracted by details correctly and incorrectly related to a decision—even one described as simple by a professional—believe it is not a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ decision, and hesitate to act. They may feel they have more questions than answers and resent being made to feel inadequate. Pressure cancels out trust.
How do you assist prospects and clients in becoming confident about their decision making? What has proven to be your most useful tool in this process? How good are you at personally making decisions with confidence, especially under pressure?
#3. Mastering the Complexity of Simple Decisions
The significant professional purpose in communicating is to make good decisions easy and comfortable to make, and to help others—prospects and clients—confidently commit.
Professionals, advisors, executives, and entrepreneurs are decisive by nature, training, and goal-setting. It’s not surprising that many often think they are great decision-makers. Some even believe that making decisions quickly is a sign of decisiveness, which it isn’t necessarily.
Commonly, after a few years on the job, most professionals feel they have learned all there is about the decision making process. They believe it’s just content, in the form of product specifications, office procedures, and client “hot topics,” that change, not the decision-making process. Professionals who truly understand how ill-prepared most prospects and clients are to make decisions, understand how the professional can help. These professionals realize their value is linked to clients’ confidently-made decisions.
The more professionals understand about the process of deciding, the more useful they are to those that rely on guidance to make up their minds and end second guessing. This is true whether you sell goods, services, or both to individual clients, businesses, or organizations.
The first time you went through one of your profession’s or organization’s decision-making procedures with a prospect or client, it required a lot of concentration, thinking, remembering, and analysis on your part to genuinely engage and serve. Prospects are going through your process for the first time, so remember what that felt like.
Each subsequent training session and actual sale seemed to require less conscious thought from you, even though details varied with each prospect and client. If the professional is selling services or products, particularly when standard, frequently-repeated procedures are used, the prospect or client may be at an even greater disadvantage.
After years of experience, many prospect and client service procedures are second nature to you. They can be carried out almost effortless, and you may feel they do not even require your full attention. Some professionals have gone through the process so often without giving the prospect or client individual attention, that the professional feels they could fill out the form alone. That is not necessarily a valuable progression for prospects and clients, or for the professional.
Conscious effort is required to observe opportunity for improvement, and to identify weaknesses or redundancies in procedures and processes. Have you reached the stage where you can work on auto-pilot? How is that constructive progress? What are you missing that clients, who are not jaded by repetition as you are, and competitors, anxious for opportunity, would value or could contribute?
#4. The following discussion relates to guided persuasion, presented as friendly helping and caring concern. This is not a discussion of high-pressure tactics or heavy-handed selling, which have no place in professional communication.
- Do answers to the following questions represent information that is readily available to you, or that is largely unknown to you?
- How many decisions are there for prospects to make from the first prospecting contact until the transaction is finalized and follow-up is complete?
- Do you have a flow chart or similar outline of this process to share with prospects and clients? If not, how does that foster continuous improvement to the clients’ benefit?
- How many decisions do you make in managing this process?
- How is each procedure documented, analyzed, and checked for compliance with legal and ethical standards to protect the interests of the prospect and client?
- How frequently and thoroughly is each decision-making procedure reviewed and revised?
Your goal in this evaluation should be to identify aspects of decision making—clients’ and yours—that make deciding seem simple with experience and complex without, or without trustworthy professional advice.
© 2019 PJ Wade, TheCatalyst.com. Except from “What’s Your Point?: Cut The Crap, Hit The Mark & Stick!” (print book publication: 2020)
⇒ Example of how real estate professionals could supercharge communication.