A Quick Guide to Effective Communication Skills


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In the world of business, confidence is king and affiliate marketing is no different! If you can’t present yourself with at least a certain degree of assurance, then people will not have faith in you. However, for many people, it’s not their confidence in their abilities which holds them back, but their confidence when communicating. So, how do you take the wheel in conversations so that you can steer them where you want them to go?

Whether you are an affiliate marketer, in general sales or just want to present a more confident image, this article will help you! Our lives are filled with daily interactions and how we handle them will, over time, develop not only our relationships with those around us but also our outlook on the world. Therefore, it’s important that we get them right.

In the world of marketing, it’s important to remember that most conversations involve some level of trade. If you’re in sales, then 99.9% of the conversations you will have will be generated because you want to make a deal. However, as every salesperson knows, just telling someone to buy something without offering any value to the customer will result in a lot of wasted conversations. Therefore, successful sales techniques involve making the customer feel important and that you are offering them something of value. In short, you have to make sure that both sides reach a point of mutual benefit, only then can the trade occur. So how do you get to this stage?

The Personal Touch

Business is business, but businesses are run by human beings, and it’s important not to forget that. That means that the person you are speaking to will have problems just like you and if you can get them to offer you a morsel of personal information, then you have something to work with. This doesn’t mean merely feigning interest. Remember, business is about trade and if the other person has shared a problem then you should too. However, be careful about the issue you choose! It shouldn’t be anything too personal. The easiest way to hit the mark is to keep your problem similar to theirs. If you do this, then you will have something in common.

Some common problems which customers might be having:

  • Too much work. If you get this one, then don’t jump on it immediately. Hang back and if the thing you are trying to sell could help reduce their workload then use it later in your pitch.
  • Not enough sleep because their kids are keeping them awake. This is a gem and can lead you to more personal matters to
    gain their confidence.
  • Tough day because they drank too much the night before. Gauge this one more carefully as you don’t want to appear unprofessional, but if the other person knows you’re not a stick in the mud, then it can definitely help you out to show that there’s a person behind the suit.

Affiliate marketers tend to be more relaxed than people in corporate sales and most work from home. Therefore you can have slightly more candid and relaxed conversations. For affiliates, you don’t need to shy away from booze conversations at conferences as it’s usually expected.

If people don’t offer you any personal information, then you can always offer a bit yourself. It’s trickier though. If you have to offer something up, make sure you have a reason for doing so. They might say something relevant, in which case you can build into it.

The one thing to remember when giving up personal information, however, is that you do not want pity. Any personal issues you may address should be done so with a level of confidence that says it’s an inconvenience, but I can deal with it. If you give off a sense of confidence that lets people know that you are in control of your life, then they will be more trusting of you and may even seek your advice. If they do that, then you have the lead in the conversation.

Playing for Power

Power, in terms of effective communication with people, doesn’t mean dominating the conversation. In fact, it is actually the polar opposite. The person who is in control of the conversation should allow the other to do at least 75% of the speaking. Why? Because when you aren’t speaking you are listening and by listening you are automatically gaining more than you’re giving away. If the other person spills all of their secrets without you saying a word, then you are in control of how you use that information, and it can often provide gold for your pitch.

The easiest way to get the other party to speak is to lead with questions. In fact, you should pretty much always lead with questions, regardless of the conversation. By asking questions, you make the other party feel important while also ensuring that they divulge the information you need.

What questions should you ask?

Try not to be too dull. Questions about the weather won’t get you anywhere most of the time, although if you really have nothing else, then you can hope to use it to get you into conversations about holidays and personal matters. It’s a bit of a long and arduous road though and won’t always be beneficial.

The truth is, the questions will usually be related to your particular line of work. The chances are you share some common interests with the person you are speaking to them so try to lead with questions which will get you to that stage. It takes practice, but after a while, you will know exactly which questions to ask.

Bank a few anecdotes

Everyone loves a good story but they can be hard to come up with on the spot, and it’s even harder to know if they will hit the right cord when you tell them to people. Therefore, it’s a good idea to pick out a few stories about yourself which show you in a good light. Funny anecdotes tend to be the most effective as ‘this one time a saved a baby deer’ seems a little too much like you are trying to play yourself up as the hero. Anecdotes should show that you have humility and that you are human.

In any anecdote you tell, you shouldn’t be the catalyst for the action unless the situation got out of control without your being able to do anything about it. This could be something embarrassing like the time you congratulated someone on their pregnancy only to find out they had just put on weight. It’s harmless, at least to the client, and it makes for a good story. Plus, everyone has done stupid things, and they will likely share one with you.

The key to a good anecdote is to keep it simple, show humility and, most importantly, give the other person a sense of your character to gain trust. Just make sure you have a few handy because you don’t want to be the person that tells the same story over and over again.


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