There’s a lot of talk these days about high-impact communications, but seemingly little understanding of what this means. I asked some sales professionals recently what they considered a high-impact communication to be, and received a range of answers, from “not sure” through to “something that’s lively and engaging”.
This last definition is, I’d say, a very common one amongst not only salespeople, but businesspeople in general, and it comes from the fact that we consider high-impact communications to be given from a podium. But as salespeople, how often do we, in the scheme of things, deliver our client communications from a podium or in a presentation situation. From time to time, yes, but they’re also given by phone, email, and instant message. And all these need to have impact as well.
My definition of a high-impact communication is this:
A communication which achieves what the sender intends it to achieve.
Think about it – it’s easy for communications delivered with charisma and energy to feel high-impact, but if the audience walks away feeling entertained but not taking any action, then it hasn’t achieved anything (unless you’re a stand-up comic), and therefore it’s low impact.
Whether you’re a salesperson or anyone else in an organisation, if your communications don’t achieve an action in the recipient, then they’re pointless. They’re also clearly not high-impact.
So how do we achieve a high-impact communication?
It all starts with a little planning, even if the communication in question is just an email or a phone call. Before we can create any kind of communication that has impact, i.e. that does what we want it to do, we have to know what we want the communication to achieve!
This means the communication needs to have a purpose. Once I know what that purpose is, then I can build the communication towards achieving that purpose.
So, salesperson (or any other employee), before you next pick up the phone, send an email, jump on a video call, or have any communication with anyone, think: “what do I want this communication to achieve?” and then start building towards that outcome.
For more information on how to make a communication truly high-impact, check out this course from my Knowledge Bites brand: High-Impact Communication Skills.