Up and at it again if you read my blogs!
And getting back into doing some keyword research based around subjects that I’m pretty interested in.
So I did some keyword research based upon a sales platform calls ‘Gong.io’ – it had a list of the ‘best sales blogs’ – but I chose to actually look at Gong itself.
Low and behold – one of the keywords that I uncovered that I think I know a ‘thang’ (said with the appropriate southern american twang) or two (or tuppence) about is…
(Drum roll please…)
Conversational intelligence –
And here’s the keyword difficulty for this piece as according to ze Ahrefs:
I’ve got the potential of hitting around 1,200 people a month if I can actually write something compelling on this piece….
So what is it I’d like to share with you?
Conversational intelligence is actually a book written by Judith Glaser:
And here’s the ‘bio’ as taken from Google Books (as I’ve not read the thing but want to give you my insights upon it):
“The key to success in life and business is to become a master at Conversational Intelligence. It’s not about how smart you are, but how open you are to learn new and effective powerful conversational rituals that prime the brain for trust, partnership, and mutual success.”
So – with this in mind let’s get into it:
Within sales dialogue (which is 90% of my work) – conversational intelligence is absolutely massive.
It’s the way that I engage with different levels of decision-makers across all walks of life and is central to our success at Pearl Lemon.
Practically this means:
Tonality and adjusting it according to the person you’re speaking to is critical – to show deference/amiability/energy/confidence (and every other emotion under the sun)
It’s not what you say often time – it’s the WAY you say it that becomes critical to the person whose listening to you.
Talking about listening –
Active Listening is also mission-critical – what is it that is being said? Have you heard all the queues? We have weekly training sessions internally with the team and throughout the session, I’ll do some ‘listening checks’ – average recall clocks in anything around 20-40%.
I’ll literally give instructions at the beginning of a Zoom meeting such as – ‘keep your mic on, turn off background notifications, look at the actual screen.’ People will nod to confirm it makes sense and then 20 minutes later 15/20% of the room is ignoring what they just agreed to.
Silent Listening is listening to all of the things that are NOT being said. This is often where the magic will happen when it comes to someone’s response or lack of. If they paused – why did they pause? If he/she looked away – WHY?
Paying attention to THEIR tonality, their body language and all of the moments in between the words is vital.
The Quick Pivot is also critical – and this is where conversational intelligence somewhat comes into its own. Often time – when any of my sales team are in a conversation and an objection comes up – it requires lightning-fast thinking. You need the ability to turn the conversation on its head and find another route to Rome.
This is for example your ability to deal with a problem, or an objection that comes up by ‘ thinking on your feet’ to present an alternative solution that could work for everything.
And ultimately this type of pivot calls upon the highest order skill of anyone who has supreme conversational intelligence (which can be built through intentional practice) –
To understand how to navigate complex social dynamics when perhaps you’ve got a CFO, marketing manager, and technical solutions specialist all listening in on one call to get a sense of your ability…..
Well, you’re selling to multiple different decision-makers with different objectives and different yardsticks that are being used to measure you.
This means…you’re going to almost CERTAINLY be asked questions that throw you….and this is where being able to confidently improvise comes in.
Intentional practice as discussed is a definite way to increase your level of conversational intelligence. Simply put – this means putting yourself constantly into situations where you’re going to be tested.
This could involve attending networking events alone, or trying to ‘work a room’ in terms of the number of people you can talk to in one evening, or presenting a topic you know very little about (there are many different forms of this)…..
But in the end (as I come to the end of my 20-minute sprint)….
Conversational intelligence is a definite life skill that will help you gain trust and confidence and feel at home in whichever room you walk into!