Are You Adapting Your Tactics for Sales Communication?

by Patrick OToole

Selling is a science—not an art. Our ongoing study of consumer buying habits and the requisite need of individuals to adapt their sales communication to those habits are identified as customer satisfaction practices.

These consist of effective techniques for communication between buyer and seller, which is based on an understanding of the prospect’s buying habits—what their language means—plus methods to uncover then respond to their actual needs and value system.

Our abundant research, The Science of Successful In-Home Selling, indicates there are certain core values involved in improving sales skills, including improved communication techniques that are highly effective and create rapport, which evolves into customer satisfaction.

Individuals who are trained in the basics of an updated step-selling process need to be led to understand statements made by prospects, along with the importance of asking responsive open-ended questions. In addition, sales and marketing trainees need to be taught methods of right-versus-left-brain selling as well as Power Linguistics techniques.

Step-selling was first introduced to the home improvement and remodeling industries in 1963 by our company under the title of “Six Sales to a Sale.” Over the years, its fundamentals have frequently been modified to meet today’s customer’s habits, needs and values.

Remember: As you read the following, be aware that the power of any idea can be measured by the degree of resistance that it attracts.

Power Statements on The Realities of Selling in Today’s Marketplace

  1. Whenever an interaction between two or more parties takes place for the purpose of establishing new ideas, exchanging goods or services, or the developing of a relationship, some form of selling will occur, and the effectiveness of the salesperson will determine the outcome.
  2. What are you or your company doing to adapt to the numerous challenges of the current marketplace?
  3. Most people do not like to sell, including many who have the title of salesperson. Selling is a process that does not always result in a sale. Improving and upgrading your sales presentations should be a constant occurrence.
  4. In today’s sales environment, many salespeople do not know how to sell correctly—first identifying then responding to their customer’s value system.
  5. As a product or service increases in popularity and acceptance, the skills of those selling it diminish. The abundance of leads creates an inventory of unused, unsold and often unhappy individuals (prospects and salespeople).
  6. Selling is the least understood function within most companies. Too much emphasis is given to old-fashioned methodology, which worked in the past and needs to be modified or adapted to current standards of customer satisfaction needs.
  7. Despite varying degrees of market success, many companies are inept at teaching or training customer-satisfaction techniques that respond to customers of different ages and income as well as sophistication.

Salespeople frequently have a knack of touting their successes and dismissing their shortcomings. They also may brush off the obvious need to improve their interactive communication skills. Because of this, managers may criticize and find fault with salespeople without offering the option of learning adaptive sales and communication techniques.

Customer satisfaction in the presentation stage is developed through having an improved understanding of a prospect’s needs, not some unsupported belief that arises out of listening to prospects recite their wants. Price resistance is frequently the most misunderstood objection that arises out of not uncovering needs.

Properly trained salespeople use a response method that gives them more information and more opportunities to ask questions. This is commonly referred to as processing.

Examine what you can do to meet today’s challenges.

  • You cannot know what you do not know.
  • You cannot examine what you do not know until you can truthfully say, “I do not know.”
  • “The prospect/customer is the key ingredient in a sound sales methodology. How the prospect thinks and feels has to be the major consideration in the development of a sales system, or that system will eventually fail.”
  • Sell is a four-letter word like care. Does your customer feel they bought your product, or do they believe they were sold?
  • “Changing/modifying even the simplest form of language or interaction with others takes a minimum of 21 days of repetitive use to accomplish.”
  • Some cancellations will occur in even the most advanced sales model and training; however, rescission that exceeds 10 percent is usually a byproduct of weak sales tactics and/or miscommunication.
  • “There is seldom a cold, rational, dispassionate buyer who buys solely on merit or price. They are often prompted and motivated to find products or services that appear to meet their needs better than other options.”
  • If you believe you lost the opportunity to sell because of your price, consider an examination of how price is valued based on your presentation.
  • The difference between a good or bad lead is usually based on the skills and techniques utilized by the salesperson.
  • To know and not to do is as if not to know. This is a prime reason for revisiting an unsold lead and a major purpose of “ridealongs.”

A powerful tool for salespeople to improve their results is the understanding and use of co-communication (seeking a cooperative relationship). Co-communication is when you process prospects to talk about their needs, values, perceptions, dislikes, goals and feelings.

When a salesperson uses co-communication to ask the right questions in the proper manner, the prospect will define how to engage with them. With this knowledge, a salesperson can better serve prospects and turn them into buyers. Co-communication helps salespeople have more clarity and the ability to determine:

  1. What is the prospect really interested in?
  2. What will make them want to hear what you are saying?
  3. How to handle objections?
  4. How to identify the prospect’s values?
  5. How and when to ask for the order?

Co-communication also enables salespeople to dig beneath the prospect’s words “Your price is too high,” “We’re not buying now,” or “We’ll get back to you,” and find out what motivates them and influences their purchasing decisions.

Salespeople and contractors have become used to outdated sales techniques and avoid using customer-satisfaction language because they do not understand how and why it works. They believe their mannerly fashion or their folksy way of talking makes people comfortable and are not familiar with the effect their language has on the prospect. When a competitor gets the contract, they often become annoyed, antagonistic or bewildered.

These are changing times. What is currently working may need to be changed, modified or discontinued in the near or remote future. Stay prepared and utilize modern sales methods to respond to change. QR

Founded in 1962, Dave Yoho Associates is the oldest, largest and most successful consultancy representing the remodeling and home improvement industries. DYA is credited with the introduction of Step Selling, Post-Negative Suggestion, The Total Offer Concept and Right vs Left Brain Selling. Join DYA and over 15 of the industry’s most successful owners, managers and marketing experts at The Home Improvement Profitability Summit,, June 22-24 in Northern Virginia. Contact Dave at (703) 591-2490 or

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More