The Power of Conversation

In the age where our communication is often limited to a text message or email, it’s easy to overlook the power of a good old fashion conversation. We forget that communicating solely through text often robs us of the value of listening to someone’s tone and vocal inflection. The evidence? Have you ever spoken to a family member, friend, colleague or even you your significant other through email or text and have your meaning misinterpreted? We all have. This problem has gotten even worse with generic canned responses in messages such as “lol” or even worse, the use of an emoji. Just last week I found myself replying “LOL” in a text conversation and realized I wasn’t evening smiling, let alone “laughing out loud”. The over-simplification and disengaged nature of our text and email conversations has taken away the ability to truly understand how another party is engaging with us.

This lack of conversation isn’t only impacting us through our digital interactions; it is also taking a toll on us when we assume what someone is thinking in between interactions. If we have a doubt or insecurity about what someone is thinking, we often let it take over our energy and start creating a story in our minds about what is going on in some else’s head. We then follow up by stressing over how we will handle dealing with this newly created story when we next interact with the person. All of this, often to find out that the story we told ourselves was completely off base.

In both of these scenarios, all assumptions and miscommunications can be avoided with a simple voice conversation. Avoid trying to diffuse a misunderstanding with your better half through texts. Just pick up the phone. If you’re concerned that a friend may be upset, give them a call or meet them for coffee. It really is that simple.

These challenges also pour into our professional lives. A few weeks ago I received an email from a client asking to stop our coaching sessions and be refunded the investment she had paid for future sessions. This represented a significant amount of business for my company. I started by telling myself a story about what was going on in her head, assuming I knew what she might be thinking. I reflected that she had been out of the country for many weeks, not making it possible for our regular sessions. Luckily, I replied to her email asking for a phone call. When we connected the following day, she shared her concerns, which revolved around her doubting her own ability to be successful as a coach. Skeptical family members who didn’t understand the coaching industry and a negative experience with another coach fueled these fears. I directed the conversation back to why she originally wanted to build a business serving and supporting people in their businesses, helped her re-identify her passion, and then shifted our strategy going forward to better support her. Now she is implementing strategies to help serve her audience on a much larger scale, building a business around positively impacting the lives of new entrepreneurs nationwide.

The positive outcome for this client, and in turn her clients, would not have been possible if I attempted to “save” the business through an email exchange. A lack of information and some level of self-doubt or insecurity often fuel most conflicts, misunderstandings, and even client objections. These can almost always be improved or even resolved by engaging in a voice conversation and showing the person that you genuinely care about them.

The next time you feel compelled to type “I hope that didn’t come across the wrong way” or are creating a story in your head about someone else’s thought process, just make the call.

– Jeremy S. DeMerchant The Sales Strategist

www.Permission To

Want to take a peek into how Jeremy structures his sales conversations? Download The 5 C’s of Successful Sales Conversations for FREE here.


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