One of the greatest things any sales leader can do for their team is to send the right signals and communicate clearly.

I once had a sales manager make the following statement to me:

I know you think you know what I said, but I am not sure that you know that what I said is not what I meant to communicate.”

Clear as mud, right? 🙂

When setting sales targets, giving skill set assignments or giving specific action steps in our coaching and mentoring of others; we are most effective when we give verbal and written instruction.  It is also a great idea to ask for the recipient to communicate the message back to you in order to insure that they truly understand.  Part of that process should include agreed upon times for follow up and progress checks.

But what about our non-verbal communications?

How often do our words give one message – and then our actions contradict that same message?

Here are just a few examples of this inconsistency that I have witnessed – and sometimes made the same mistake myself.

Verbal Message:  Protect your green time activities.  Save your business hours for your sales process activities of prospecting, discovery and recommendation meetings (presenting), and following up on leads that are between initial contact and closing.

Non-Verbal Contradiction:  Having a redundant conference call or meeting in the middle of that green time.  This becomes even more of a contradiction when that time is spent data dumping information that is readily available in electronic format.  When a meeting is needed, make sure that you provide enough value that your sales team gains insight that helps them become more successful.

Verbal Message:  You must communicate the value that you bring to the table for your prospects and clients.

Non-Verbal Contradiction:  Sales training that is almost entirely focused on products, features, benefits and pricing.  If your sales training lacks adequate time for teaching the value that your product or service brings to the table – AND how to effectively communicate that value; you are sending the wrong signal.  You should spend time educating your sales team on “what it means to your clients” when they have you there.  Teach them about the value your company, product or service provides to the client above and beyond the transaction.  Then teach them to craft great questions to ask their prospects – questions that will get the prospect to verbalize their desire to have those things that your product, service or company can deliver.

QUESTION:  What can you do to insure that your messages to your sales team are consistent?