How the One to Three Speaking Ratio Can Dramatically Increase Sales
Beyond sales being a transference of feelings as noted by Zig Ziglar, selling or the sales process is all about communicating. Much of that communication is verbal and for many this becomes a problem both as a potential customer and as a seller.
How many times have you asked a sales professional to slow down or to repeat his or her just spoken comments? The rate of the spoken word can easily exceed 225 and reach 250 words plus per minute or 4 words per second.
What would happen if sales professionals would just slow down by 25% and speak at around 180 words per minute or just 3 words per second? Would they be better understood? Would there be less asking for "Please repeat" or "I did hear what you just said?"
The reason many sales professionals speak so quickly is that they are in a hurry to share all the good news about their products and services. Additionally, with many in sales in the wrong position, these individuals become stressed when talking to potential customers (a.k.a. prospects). One of the physical outcomes of stress is speaking faster.
Business networking probably also adds to the speak faster behavior. How many words can you get into your 60 second introduction? The belief is the more words that I speak, the more the other members will know what I do. Of course, this is a false belief because after 7 to 10 seconds, you have probably already lost them. Sales Coaching Tip: Understanding how people process information (what you have just spoken) is a necessary sales skill.
To slow down does require practice. Vince Lombardi noted winning coach of the Green Bay Packers believed in flawless execution. Perfect practice makes perfect execution.
Invest some time to speak slower. Write out about 150 words. Time yourself to complete speaking these words in 1 minute. Even though the 1 to 3 ratio translates into 180 words, you need to allow for pauses and natural inflections which enhance your overall communication style. Even at 180 spoken words per minute, you still do not want to sound like a rat-a-tat-tat.
As you become more comfortable, you can increase to the 180 words per minute. Again, the purpose of slowing down is to speed up your ability to increase sales.