January 15, 2013 by Charlie Walker
Posted in: communication, Special Report - Sales & Marketing
There are words you hear in the workplace and from customers that might sound good — until they’re put into context. Then they take an ugly turn.
- Good/bad luck. If you attribute a success to “luck,” you’re diminishing the skill and savvy involved in the accomplishment. At the same time, blaming something that went wrong on “bad luck” is often a discreet way of abdicating responsibility and can even can be seen as a reluctance to own up to a result.
- Enemy. This draws a stark contrast — a person or a customer is either an enemy or a friend. There’s no gray area. And does someone really need to be a friend in order to be a successful business partner? There are (should be) no enemies in business. Your efforts to improve often depend on someone else. Besides, someone you compete with today could be your partner tomorrow.
- Rejection. Isn’t that a harsh way to describe what happens if someone doesn’t agree with your proposal or ideas? Some people aren’t going to like you or your ideas, no matter what. Don’t take it personally. Use it as feedback for your own improvement.
- Hate. It’s an ugly word that gets tossed around far too casually. “I hate it when someone tries to sell to one of my accounts,” or even, “I hate my job.” Those are pretty serious statements, which don’t leave much margin for improvement. If someone is trying to sell to one of your accounts (or worse yet, succeeds), it should tell you adjustments are necessary in how you were handling that account. You can’t hate what someone else did — especially if it was due to something the customer wants that you weren’t doing.
- But … Ooh, what a momentum killer. “Sure, I like your idea — but … ” or “I agree with you, but …” You just took the wind right out of someone’s sails. A better way of encouraging people and keeping momentum going is to substitute “and” for “but.” It’s positive encouragement, and shows you’re motivated by what the person has said.