When I initially received my degree from the University of Illinois in Communication back in December 2014, my intention was to use it to pursue a career in public relations. After all, PR greatly relies upon communication skills to spread information about a company to the public.
However, it was actually during my PR internship for a startup incubator (organizations that help entrepreneur ventures succeed), that I discovered my love for marketing startup ventures.
I assumed that my degree in Communication could only be applied to my initial path of public relations. It was actually this week at a Professional Selling Seminar here in Miami that my mindset began to change.
One of the most crucial key points of the seminar stated that effective personal communication skills are a crucial & necessary part of the professional sales process.
The sales portion is the most important aspect of any entrepreneur venture. With the the ultimate goal being the sale of a product or service.
The lecturer went on to state that during the sales process, communication plays the role of transferring meaning so that the potential buyer or customer understands this meaning.
In professional selling, the communication aspect of the process is threefold:
The first being Verbal Communication: A term that we’re probably all familiar with. Verbal Communication shows up greatly during the initial rapport building stage (greetings) & especially during the presentation portion (presenting the product/service to customer) of the sales process.
Next, is Non Verbal: A subtle, yet very crucial part of sales. Non Verbal has to do with everything that is not spoken verbally throughout the professional selling process. From the way your tie looks, to the creepy amount of eye contact that you make with your prospective buyer.
To me, non verbal is as important if not more important than verbal. Physical mannerisms such as rubbing your nose as you’re embellishing product facts really goes a long way towards establishing or losing credibility with your buyer.
The last being ParaVerbal Communication: A term that I had never heard of before the seminar. ParaVerbal has to do with the tone of your voice. A part of the professional sales process that is so crucial, especially during the presentation portion.
Your startup could have the most amazing product in the world. But when pitching to investors, if your voice shows a lack of confidence in your product (mumbling, voice quivering), then you’re doing yourself and your company an extreme disservice.
The lecturer ended the subject of ParaVerbal Communication by stating that the seller should do about 20% of the speaking and the potential buyer should do about 80% of the talking.
This makes sense because sometimes one can oversell their product and run the risk of turning off a potential buyer. A mistake that you don’t want to make especially when the overall goal is to close the sale.