In our last article, we addressed the “art” of influencing people. As promised, here are additional techniques, words and phrases that will help you communicate more effectively.
I call the ability to choose the right words in a given situation “Talking Smart.” You may have a good idea for another person, but if the language you use turns that person off, then your ideas will not be well-received. You’ll find it easier to influence others if you can memorize a few simple words and phrases that will make a positive impact. Also, you can help your case by knowing which words and phrases to avoid—better yet, eliminate them from your vocabulary. Let’s first look at the positive expressions and a few examples of each. As you review them, think of the situations in your towing business where you might apply them.
Good Speaking Habits
- “It’s been my experience that…”
“It’s been my experience that this is the best towing vehicle for buses in the market.”
- "I believe…”
“I believe in your ability to operate that new equipment.”
“I believe your approach is a good one.”
- “Our customers tell us…”
“Our customers tell us we are the fastest and most reliable towing company in the area.” (Then back it up with who said it.)
- “Thanks so much for…”
“Thanks so much for agreeing to talk to us about your financial services.”
- “I’m confident that…”
“I’m confident that you’ll be pleased with us.”
- “I appreciate…”
“I appreciate how quickly you responded.”
- “Thank you!”
“Thank you” is the most important phrase in your business and personal life. Say it often.
Bad Speaking Habits
Just as there are phrases that will help you influence people, there are also phrases that can make influencing people more difficult— or make you come across as sounding weak.
- “To tell you the truth…”
“To tell you the truth, we have the largest business in the area.”
Better: “We have the largest towing business in the area.”
- “To be honest…”
“To be honest, I can give you the best deal.”
- “You have to…” / “You’d better…” / “You must…”
“You have to do this if you expect us to honor your service request.”
“You have to wait.”
“You have to complete that report by the end of the day.”
“You should have brought that with you.”
“You’d better think about that.”
“Get that done as soon as you can.”
Remember to be careful when you use any phrase that dictates to people what they must do. No one likes to be commanded to do things. Even if you’re the manager or owner of your own company with the authority to tell people what to do, the language you choose can make a difference as to whether or not people will willingly follow your instructions. They may do what you say, but they may not produce quality work, or worse, you may lose their respect. TPW