Making your prospect feel dumb is probably the most counterproductive thing you could do when trying to get them into your business, yet so many people do it without knowing they do it.
Of the Ten Communication Qualities, Communicate at the Prospect’s Level is number nine and is this blog’s topic.
The Benefit of Leveling with a Prospect
When you communicate at the prospect’s level they “get” you. They feel the two of you are on the same “wavelength.” Don’t communicate at the prospect’s level, and they will feel dumb and that they can’t do it. They also feel very “different” than you. Have you ever sat around people speaking a different language? You felt alienated – and you were.
Are You Esoteric?
If you use esoteric terms (the word esoteric means: intended for or understood by only a particular group) that your prospect doesn’t know, then you’re going to have partial or no communication. What does that mean?
This is when parts of what you say are understood by the prospect and parts are NOT understood. So, they only understood a part of what you said. An example could be that you say breakaway compensation plan. They only understand compensation plan so they know it has something to do with making money but it’s not clear to them exactly what you mean. That’s partial communication.
This when you say something and the prospect has no idea what you’re talking about. You say phytochemical (means: nutrients in plants that have health-promoting properties) and they think “dog chemicals.” You might think I’m exaggerating, but I’m not!
I’ve surveyed people about what they think the term “network marketing” means. Six out of 10 (60%) think it’s something to do with selling networking equipment, as in computer networking! That’s NO communication.
How to Communicate on the Prospect’s Level
You must communicate only with words that are in your prospect’s vocabulary. If you really think about it, a dictionary merely describes an unknown word with words already in a person’s vocabulary. That’s the reason there are different levels of dictionaries – children’s dictionary, collegiate dictionary, medical dictionary, and so forth.
What does the word vocabulary even mean? One definition is: All the words of a language.That would be good if everyone knew all words and all their definitions, but they don’t. The second definition of the word vocabulary is: The sum of words used by, understood by, or at the command of a particular person. That’s a much better definition for what we’re discussing here.
So where did you get your current vocabulary? You got it from things you’ve heard or things you’ve read. It does you no good to create your own words because no one knows what they mean except you. That’s like if you had the only fax machine in the world – who could you send a fax to?
Vocabulary Doesn’t Cut It
Contrary to what your English professor told you, you do NOT become a great communicator because you have a large vocabulary alone. It’s part of it, but not the whole package. A larger vocabulary allows you to communicate to a larger audience – meaning you have more in common with a greater number of people. It gives you diversity.
Let’s suppose you knew the entire English vocabulary. You could then carry on a conversation with anyone on any subject. Until you ran into someone who spoke Spanish. Then, you have no communication again. You learn all the words of the Spanish language, and then you could communicate to anyone in Spanish on any subject also.
You Aren’t Born with Good Communication
What point am I trying to make here? Two points actually. One is I’m driving home your understanding that good communication is not something one is born with. Every person had to learn the definition of all the words in their vocabulary. And the other point I’m making here is that you can communicate with people only to the degree that you know and use THE SAME vocabulary they do. If you knew all the words of a language, its value would only be known by the one other fellow who knew all the words.
Most of the time you will never use more than about 10% of the vocabulary because that’s what most people know. And for you to be a good communicator you must, I repeat, you must only use words that the person you’re communicating with knows.
Otherwise, that person will walk away from you or hang up the phone on you or fail the class that you’re teaching or quit network marketing! And don’t think for a second that people will say they don’t know something – even if you ask them if they understand. This is something that our society has taught us is wrong to do. It’s the craziest thing I’ve ever observed.
A person not knowing something will pretend to know something so they don’t seem dumb, but they are dumb on that word or subject and will forever stay that way because they would rather appear smart and be dumb, than be smart by asking, “What does that mean?” So, don’t use words people don’t know. If you need to use a new word, only use words to define that new word that your prospect already knows. And please, please, please when you hear something you don’t understand – ask what it means.
Want more tips on getting to your prospect’s level in communication? Check out Brilliant Communicator.