Effective Communication Is an Acquired Skill
Effective communication occurs when the listener understands everything you just said. You made the complex simple. That’s not an easy thing to do.
It takes a long time and a lot of practice to become simple.
The effort is worth it. There is nothing more important to a Financial Advisor than being understood. After all, if everyone understood everything you said, you would be one of the highest paid and most influential people in the world.
Fortunately, effective communication is an acquired skill, not an innate skill.
You can become an excellent communicator. How effective a communicator you become depends upon how badly you want to accomplish that particular skill. Like all good things in life, it comes with a price.Here are some steps you can take, should you desire to be a better communicator.
Decide your message before you speak.
Don’t just talk for the sake of talking. Determine the one idea that best reflects the point you want people to remember. Boil that idea down to as few words as possible. Build your comments around that idea. Like any acquired skill, this takes considerable practice.
Let’s assume you are presenting yourself to people who are concerned about fees or commissions.
The point you want them to remember is that there is value beyond price. Now boil that idea down to ten words or less. “Retirements are postponed because of poor decisions, not fees.” Now build your presentation around that phrase.
Sit up straight and make good eye contact.
Solicit feedback after you have made your point. What you say is not as important as what the other person hears. Do not let a misunderstanding taint your message. If you’re not getting your point across, back up and try again.
Do not be ambiguous. Stare your point clearly.
Learn to simplify. Don’t send mixed messages. Be specific. Don’t lie or embellish. Don’t use words you either don’t understand and/or cannot pronounce correctly. Never use two words when one word will suffice. Every word you utter diminishes the power of the previous word. No verbal spamming.
Learn to tell two or three good stories which illustrate your key points.
Use analogies whenever possible. Analogies make the unfamiliar familiar.
Never talk down to anyone.
People form attitudes based upon how you treat them. Check your ego at the door.
Listening is a major part of effective communication.
Do you let the other person finish before you speak? Do you understand your clients’ goals completely? Have you ferreted out all the objections?
There is a lot more to this subject, but you get the point.
Your speech must be elegant. Not dumbed down, elegant. There is a difference.
The people to whom you are catering are smart, but they are not ‘financial planning’ smart. You can’t have a healthy conversation when you and your listener are speaking two different languages. The Advisor who speaks third grade English will fare far better than the Advisor who speaks college-level English.
Get you message down and practice it until you can’t get it wrong.
It’s not enough to practice until you get it right. You must practice until you can’t get it wrong.
Learn how to be brilliant at the basics!
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