The Importance of Communications in Sales & Marketing for the HVAC and Building Automation Controls Professional
Insights from Marc Petock
In the absence of effective communications, sales and marketing processes will fall apart.
Strong marketing and communications messaging is necessary. Especially important is the delivery method you use to reach your customer base. How one communicates is vital to defining product value, responding to customer pain points, and persuading prospects to support your brand.
A good communication strategy also has a direct impact on your company’s reputation and credibility.
Yes, it is true, we are now in a reputational economy. I would be remiss if I did not also include how communications effects influence. Communications can influence an organization’s ability to capture the attention of their market(s). Messaging can influence the perception of your company and if you are knowledgeable, recognized as a thought leader, or considered a go-to in the industry.
While there are many elements that must be considered for a good communications strategy, delivering speeches and presentations is indeed one element. Knowing what to say and knowing what not to say are equally important.
I recently came across an excellent reminder entitled: “10 Things Not to Say in a Speech and What to Say Instead’
Eva Rose Daniels reminds us “to “exude confidence and don’t let weak language ruin your credibility”. Daniels goes on to provide ten additional things to avoid saying and then, what to say instead. Here are excerpts:
- Avoid saying “I Think”. Using “I think” can make you sound unsure of your content and projects a lack of confidence.
Say instead: I believe, or it is my view that, or my assessment is, or I am confident that, or research from (Name Source) shows, or I know from personal experience.
- Avoid saying “I’m sorry, I need to apologize”. Apologizing reduces your credibility because if you don’t believe in your content then why should your audience?
Say instead: If you are sorry for a technical failure (for example), plan for it to happen. If you are sorry for weak or confusing content, you shouldn’t be presenting. If you are already in the moment, just own it without an apology. If you are sorry because you forgot something you needed to cover, say “Let’s back up a little…” (or just skip it, the audience will never know what you didn’t cover).
- Avoid saying “I just want to say”. The word “just” is used as a pause and is not a definitive word. Speakers use “just” because they are insecure about their point.
Say instead: I believe XYZ, and this is why, here is an update on XYZ.
- Avoid “I’ve got to be honest”. Using the phrase “to be honest” implies that, before that statement, you haven’t been honest.
Say instead: To clarify, or the issue is (Name issue) or what this means is XYZ or I have some news to share.
- Avoid “Does that make sense”? It decreases your credibility because it looks like you are seeking audience affirmation.
Say instead: Do you have any questions, if you are still confused, let me provide you with this analogy.
- Avoid “I’m probably boring you”. If you are worried that you are boring your audience, there is a good chance you are. You need to include some stories, examples, anecdotes or research that supports your presentation.
Say instead: Change your tone to be excited and engaging; be sure you have attractive visuals to break up repeated bullet points.
- Avoid “I’ve been asked to speak about.” Saying someone else told you to talk about something can hurt your credibility; your audience doesn’t care why you chose a certain topic-all they care about is what they’re going to learn from you.
Say instead: Start off by saying (Topic Name) affects you in this way or dive into a story that relates to the topic you are speaking about.
- Avoid” I don’t have much time left so”. Acting rushed shows a lack of preparation.
Say instead: I don’t have much time left (pause and glance, look down at your notes and choose a strong point to end on), or in our last two minutes allow me share or as we close, let me remind you.
- Avoid “Close your eyes and imagine”. Not only is this cliche, but you are also not likely to get a lot of participation.
Say instead: If you want your audience to visualize something, use descriptive language. For example, I don’t know who your favorite superhero is but mine is the original who is faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound: 50’s Adventures of Superman.
- Avoid “I want to tell you a story about”. It’s a bad set up and you will lose the punch of your story.
Say instead: Dive right in with the story as if you were in a conversation with someone.
So, don’t let weak language ruin your credibility.