Knowing what to say and when to say it is vital. We all have that friend who is known for telling that joke that is just slightly inappropriate and just makes people look for a way out of the conversation. We have known people who ask that nice lady if she is pregnant without thinking – ‘Ummm, no I am not…thank you very much!’ Awkward!! And we all have been in meetings when the ‘I have to be noticed’ guy asks the super obvious unnecessary question that adds 30 minutes to your time together. AND lastly we have been in networking gatherings when someone just seems way too happy and way too willing to share too much and not listen near enough. So I repeat - Knowing what to say and when to say it is vital.
So with that being said let’s talk about four things as a sales rep or business owner you need to get good at saying and when it is appropriate.
1) I Am Sorry –
This seems pretty straight forward – I mean we all know what I’m sorry means, but do we all use it? Hmmm…I bet there are a handful of folks who do not have a good grasp of just how important this phrase can be in business and in relationships. For some reason we feel that being apologetic is a sign of weakness or will lead to losing business. In reality nothing says strength like admitting when you have messed up. People respect it. Employees, vendors, customers, and partners will respect you. So if you are wrong – own it!
2) I Can Not Do That –
Saying no to some things is very important. A lot of us have the tendency to say yes to everything because we do not want to disappoint or lose value to those who are reaching out to us for help. By setting limits you preserve one of your most valuable assets – time. You actually allow yourself the room to spend time important things like family, growing your business, and making sure your current customers, employees, and associates are getting the best of you. Don’t say no just to say no – but when you plate is full acknowledge it and set yourself up for success.
3) I Don’t Know –
No one expects you to know everything. Not even about your own product or service. We all know that there are unique situations or that each circumstance may have different influences. So do not be afraid to say I don’t know. It tells people that you are genuine and just like them…you do NOT know everything. Also…feel free to include this little add on ‘I do not know, but I will find out.’ That will get you more respect and trust than you will ever know.
4) Let’s Be Clear –
Setting expectations is vital. Knowing who is doing what, when, and how it will be delivered will keep everyone on the same page. So before you end your meeting or your conversation simply ask that you go over expectations and put it in your summary that you will share with everyone. Never assume everyone else is hearing what you hear or thinking what you think. Say it out loud and make sure expectations are set.
Saying the right thing at the right time is important. Put these four phrases into action and watch how much better you feel about your relationships, your business, and your time management. And for those who are wondering – I am not pregnant.
Clint Powell is owner of Connect Marketing, an advertising agency in Chattanooga. He is a graduate of Carson-Newman College. He has spent years in radio advertising sales and management, built and sold a billboard company and works on a contract basis with other ad agencies writing ad copy and helping formulate strategies. Clint has worked with hundreds of local and regional companies over the years and helped them develop advertising campaigns. He believes that life is all about connections and spends his time connecting businesses and business owners to solutions. He sits on the board of Y-Cap (YMCA Community Action Program) and helps with several other non-profits. Clint currently resides in East Ridge with his wife and three children. He also host a weekly radio show focused on business and marketing – Marketing Mix Radio on US 101 The Legend @ 96.1.